Here is a deliberate diversion from an obviously bitter article… Ranking all the current chili pepper albums from best to worst;
Ok, a lot of thought went into this and I even listened to a few albums almost all the way through again to get a fresh perspective. My list seems to have two main parameters; how well-rounded or how individually unique each album is, and how strong those specific features are for each album. Production, musicianship, and originality are also taken into consideration, but with a list this subjective, I needed to have some generalities. I will leave brief comments for each album and why I placed it where it is. Also, remember that each persons opinion is different, but nobody really knows what is universal truth with something like this, it’s just for fun and there are many things to take into consideration. Enjoy....
1. BLOOD SUGAR SEX MAGIK 1991:
An obvious choice for me. This album is the essence of who I believe the chili peppers are, deep-rooted funk-rock. And it shows because this album is leaking creativity from all areas. Their creative chemistry was obviously the strongest at this point in their career, that has been documented by the band themselves. This album is where they really solidified their identity. You will find some of the funkiest songs on this album, along with their most well known song, "under the bridge".
2. STADIUM ARCADIUM 2006:
For one specific reason, I have never seen more hits on one album, especially a double-album. This album has a lot of strength to me because it is solid catchy song after catchy song, with almost every song sticking to the rock or funk formula, but the strength of the choruses and overall effect of each song is undeniable which is precisely why they won multiple grammys for this album. Another solidifying album within their career.
3. ONE HOT MINUTE 1995:
Yes, I'm not one of the people who believed the media or anybody else that thought this album didn't "feel" right. This is the first chili peppers album i got as a kid and i have listened to it numerous times over the years. It's about how the album sounds, not how much work it took to fuse two elements of funk and metal together. The strenuous work payed off, and the result is a completely unique album with each song having its own identity. For example, the vocal effect in the verses of "coffee shop", the psychedelic rhythm in "falling into grace", and the insane auto-wah bass intro of "shallow be thy game". Just way too much individuality here without many mistakes for this album to be any lower.
4. CALIFORNICATION 1999:
This album brought the band to another level musically. It allowed the chili peppers to smooth out the funk and the pop with songs like "around the world", which has insanely funky verses which lead into a classic rock chorus. It was a very pivotal album, and to me, strong and well-rounded like blood sugar, just in a way that was a little less effective I'm my opinion. Blood sugar had a lot of distinction between funk, rock, ballads, and uniqueness, this album combines some of those elements, but repetative and stale songs like "emit remmus", "porcelain", the basically two part "right on time", and the god-awful rap vocals and and annoying chorus in "I like dirt", this album got pushed lower down the rankings. No depth is needed in terms of overall song effect, but in terms of riff variety and song structuring, yeah it needs a little more in certain areas.
5. FREAKY STYLEY 1985:
This album is classic funk almost all the way through. We're talking 70s and 80s funk. It's great that the chili peppers took it to another level in later albums but this album is smooth from start to finish. The vocals have vitally no presence though which hurts this album and almost prevents it from being in the top 5. With strong melodic vocals this could possibly have been one of the best basic funk albums ever recorded in my opinion. Stand out tracks like yertle the turtle also add flavor for what's to come on future chili peppers albums. A gigantic step from their first album and the only album with true classic funk I'm my opinion almost from start to finish.
6. BY THE WAY 2002:
I felt the band was spinning their wheels with this album. And that just happened to translate into a few decent songs and a whole bunch of stale melancholy rock songs that really do get old after a while without much guitar and bass dynamics, just flooded and sedate melody. It broke no new ground, and it's impact way low, so that is why it is farther down the list. It's just a regurgitated version of previous albums. By the way is a great title track though with a great combination of chili peppers musical influences.
7. THE GETAWAY 2016:
This album was literally all over the place. It did not know what direction it wanted to go in, but it did have a few tracks that pushed into unknown territory such as "go robot" with its 80s synth disco vibe. But what we really have here are about 9 of 13 tracks that don't fully try to go in the direction that the producer was trying to push them in. Besides a few decent bass lines and a couple slightly innovative tracks as well as the standout single "dark necessities", this album could have been something great, but they were clearly not knowing what direction to go in here, and it really shows.
8. I'M WITH YOU 2011:
Another by the way album in my opinion. Just a bunch of forcefully manufactured songs that are inferior to those of the past. Nothing here stands out too much to me, and in comparison to the previous albums mentioned, it's simply not good enough. Fans might enjoy bits and pieces of songs, but will not be devestated by any tracks in particular. The guitar riffs and phrasing do not seem focused, the same bland soft-rock tracks, and just the auto-pilot of drums and bass to keep this album afloat.
9. MOTHER'S MILK 1989:
This album is very messy to me. Fans of the older tunes might disagree, but to me, there is more lack of direction here than with The Getaway. The distorted guitar tones throughout completely make each song almost impossible to listen to. This to me is basically a very lame version of one hot minute with very bad guitar tones. The horn section in "subway to venus" and the instrumental "pretty little ditty" are refreshing, but the rest of the album is barely listenable due to the sporadic vocals and messy guitar tones, with almost no tracks with real stand out elements.
10. UPLIFT MOFO PARTY PLAN 1987:
This is just a rap-rock disaster. The vocals have no direction and again and the hard-rock attempt fails here. Basically an entire album of indistinct rapping with distorted guitars, it gets old after a while... To me, the only song worth mentioning here is "Behind The Sun" for its bright peaceful vibe. Everything else just goes in rap-rock circles endlessly with no melodic dynamics.
11. THE RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS 1984:
God, I think anybody in their right mind can agree that this album sounds like the local band down the street wasting time after their day jobs. Seriously, vocals? Screaming with no tone or pitch throughout. The rest is a desperate attempt to hold together insane bass riffs with guitars and drums that just don't really have any idea how to lead instead of follow. A very immature album recorded by musicians that were not fully prepared before entering the studio. Just not a lot of real substantial meaty material here, beside a few memorable bass lines. Even more rapping on this album, but this time in the form of screaming. Just lacking what gives real songs their layers and layers of magic.