Red Hot Chili Peppers
I bought Californication with low hopes. Someone had told me that it was a less than stellar album and that I should get something else instead. I had already made my mind up that I wanted the disc, so I purchased a copy anyway. Their last two albums had been pretty good, so I figured I'd take the risk of getting a dud. I do not regret doing so. The disc needs to be judged for its music rather than sound quality though. The first track "Around the World" has a pretty good rhythm to it and doesn't sound too bad recording wise. It's a little dirty sounding, you hear crackles here and there, the guitar amps are being pushed farther than they should, but things are still okay here. The actual music is pretty upbeat and has an interesting sound, the lyrics are a bit weak, but you'll have to live with that. When you get to track two, "Parallel Universe", the distortion is near unbearable. You know they are clipping those amps now. It's a pity too since it's a good tune. Don't get me wrong, it's still very enjoyable, but you can't crank it. Every time I have my ears won't take it and I get worried about my speakers getting damaged. In the end, I'm not enjoying myself. Just keep the volume down and things are okay.
The rest of the disc has its crackles and noises, but they are worth bearing. After all, it's the music that matters right? The Chili Peppers have used a softer sound for the majority of the remainder of the album. There are a few tunes here that have great musicality and emotion to them. The first time I heard "Otherside" I wasn't even really listening to the lyrics, but I was truly enjoying myself and had a perfectly clear concept of the tone of the song and subject. For those who love the classic Chili Peppers funk/rap/rock combo, there's a bit of that in there too. "Get on top" and "I like Dirt" seem to do it the best justice. There is a lack of refinement to their style this time around that I can't say I like. It's like this was the rough concept of what they wanted to do, and never bothered to finish it and tweak it out. Despite the album's flaws, my overall impression is still positive. Californication isn't the Red Hot Chili Peppers best album, but it has some good tunes and is worth owning.
Sound Quality: 40