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Thread: Californication - Red Hot Chili Peppers

  1. #1

    Default Californication - Red Hot Chili Peppers

    Review by Dreamsindigital and Seemebe

    Red Hot Chili Peppers
    Californication
    Funk Rock
    1999

    Anthony Kiedis doesn’t get nearly as much credit at he should for his lyrical abilities. He gets criticized a lot for always mentioning places, states... whatever, in his lyrics. Same could be said of most lyricists in whatever they write about. I think it’s just picked up more in RHCP songs, IMO, cause he makes it that way.

    Californication saw the return of John Fruisciante to the band after the pretty unimpressive reviews of One Hot Minute with Dave Navarro as guitarist. OHM is still a pretty good album, but since the death of Hillel Slovak, John was always going to be the only guitarist for the Chili Peppers.
    Its a very fun album to listen to. Full of the standard Kiedis sexual references and reflecting on various past endeavours.From the explosive start, to the....as Dreams puts it so well... perfect ‘send off’ at the end.


    Around The World

    YouTube - RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS - Around The World (con letra - with lyrics)

    Just about the perfect way to start an album, fantastic riff, heavy bass distortion before the guitar, drums and the Anthony’s shout. Lyrically, I think it’s about a guy who goes... surprise surprise, all around the world and has relationships with all these different women.
    ‘You say hello, then I say I do’ ... that line in particular seems to suggest he falls in and out of love quite easily with all these women.
    Its a great song with a nice bridge at the end before the music plays out into.


    Parallel Universe

    YouTube - Parallel Universe - Red Hot Chili Peppers LIVE

    Another bass driven song in which the guitar sort of inter-laces itself and a pretty standard drum beat. For the first couple of verse’s, and the title being Parallel Universe, i get the impression the song is about the different views you see in the world when you slip into drug addiction. It’s quite a simple song, but powerful all the same.


    Scar Tissue

    YouTube - Red Hot Chili Peppers - Scar Tissue

    Although there are parts of Around The World that is reminiscent of Give It Away .... the guitar work in Scar Tissue really hit home that John F is back in the band. Its very much like a song that could be on Blood Sugar Sex Magik, if not a little more on the ‘poppy’ side.
    I remember reading somewhere that the lyric ‘With birds ill share this lonely view’ was inspired by the bird flying overhead as Anthony was trying to think up lyrics, and ‘Sarcastic Mr Know-it-all’ was what Dave Navarro thought of Anthony.
    All in all I think its about being lonely, but taking comfort from the thoughts left in your head of the good and bad times you’ve had in the past.


    Otherside

    YouTube - Red Hot Chili Peppers - Otherside [Official]

    Like all things in life are open to everyone’s interpretation, i feel like this song is telling a few different stories.
    Slit my throat, its all I ever – Suicide.
    Heard your voices through a photograph, thought it up and brought up the past – Loss.
    A cemetery where I marry the sea – Drowning.
    Push the trigger and pull the thread – Murdered.
    Ain’t no rosey side to this song at all.
    Anthony sings this song really well. Another catchy guitar riff that plays over and over again, much like the bass and the bridge takes the song to a whole other level. Love this song.


    Get On Top

    YouTube - Red hot chili peppers - Get on Top @yokohama

    Five songs in ... and here comes the funk. The opening riff put me in mind of a more metallic sound to Power of Equality (from BSSM), and then comes in Flea slapping that bass like he does best. Chad also really comes alive in this song, I really love the raw sound to his drumming.
    I think this songs lyrics are pretty obvious if you really listen/read. It’s about someone who’s trying to get the better of someone else and come out on top.


    Californication

    YouTube - Red Hot Chili Peppers - Californication (with lyrics)

    After the assault of Get On Top, this is a nice relaxing listen. I don’t have a bad word to say about this song. I seem to remember (I know, my memory sucks lol) reading that this song was written with a different guitar part but John hated it and worked at it for a while til he came up with the gem that it is. Another in which the guitar and bass lines intertwine perfectly with a steady drum beat to carry it.
    The lyrics seem to tell a story of peoples place in society, what people are willing to do to reach the top, and how the world reacts around all of that. Californication is what people perceive to be as perfection, but stardom aint all its cracked up to be.


    Easily

    YouTube - Red Hot Chili Peppers - Easily (Live)

    Musically, id say this song were a sign of things to come for the band, as in my opinion it could have slotted in well on the By The Way album, make me think of Fortune Faded actually. The guitar work is very raw, its scratchy and has alot of treble. In fact in this song in particular the bass takes a back seat for the most part as the vocal melody compliments the guitar and drums very well.
    Lyrically, i think its fairly obvious the majority of the song is about the needlessness of war, trying to make sense of it all as soldiers are ‘Thrown to the wolves’.


    Porcelain

    YouTube - Red hot chili peppers - Porcelain w/lyrics

    This song is a pretty big change of pace for the Chili’s, the soft vocal melody, weird dark music which to me sounds like a carryover from the One Hot Minute album. The lyrics were about when Anthony was at a pretty low point in his life and he was at a meeting, where he met this young woman with her daughter who were living in the YMCA. She was an addict who was trying to get sober to make a better life for herself and daughter, but was finding it just too hard.
    “Are you wasting away in your skin
    Are you missing the love of your kin
    Drifting and floating and fading away”
    I know alot of people who don’t like it cause its nothing like they’ve ever done. But it’s a beautiful song if you just stop and listen to.
    A trip to the England without a trip to Scotland.... is just a trip to England.


  2. #2

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    Emit Remmus

    YouTube - Red Hot Chili Peppers Emit Remmus live

    Love the play on words here. “Summer Time” backwards. Where to begin? Despite popular opinion, I’m really surprised this track wasn’t one of the singles released off of Californication because its lyrics and sound are simply beautiful. Kiedis confirmed in Scar Tissue that this song was loosely inspired by his relationship with Mel C. of the Spice Girls. But even without the back story, its tale of admiring someone from afar is brilliant and done in true Chili fashion.

    I Like Dirt

    YouTube - Red Hot - I Like Dirt - Rock in Rio 2001

    The true meaning of this song is always up for debate. But since I’m the one doing the review this time around, here’s mine! I’m gonna say this track is all about sex and has ZERO to do with nature…I’ll keep it clean for purposes of this forum and leave it at that.

    This Velvet Glove

    YouTube - RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS LIVE IN POLAND - THE VELVET GLOVE

    I honestly haven’t made up my mind yet if this song is about unrequited love or addiction…I can easily be swayed both ways.

    “John says to live above hell
    My will is well”

    This line always gets me and is clearly in reference to Frusciante’s struggle with addiction.

    Savior

    YouTube - Red Hot Chili Peppers - Savior

    Despite the name, this is definitely not a spiritual song, which Kiedis has also confirmed on more than one occasion. Some people are inclined to believe the motivation for it was Frusciante’s return on this album or even Hillel, however I personally believe it has everything to do with Kiedis’ tumultuous relationship with his father instead. It’s far too easy to pick apart this song and take certain lyrics out of context. But when you look at the bigger picture, it really is about him making peace with a father that was responsible for introducing him to the demons he currently struggles with. Irregardless of your interpretation, this is one of the most lyrically brilliant tracks on this album.

    Purple Stain

    YouTube - Red Hot Chili Peppers - Purple Stain (Live) 10

    Again, have to keep this one short and sweet to stay within forum rules. This one is about the double entendre of the stain purple hair dye can leave on a pillow and “being” with a girl during that time. Not every track on an album has to be full of meaning and this one definitely screams that point loud and clear and emphasizes the fact that there’s no crime in expressing your individuality. Just a downright awesome song that’s always fun to sing along to.

    Right on Time

    YouTube - Red Hot - Right on Time - Rock in Rio 2001

    Sick bass line here. Another fun song (most) likely inspired by recreational drug use, but in the end, it just plain works. Frusciante’s vocals are just plain heavenly here.

    Road Trippin’

    YouTube - Red Hot Chili Peppers - Road Trippin w/lyrics on description

    Just a fun song about doing what you love with the people that mean the most. I think this track was perfectly placed at the end as a sort of “send off” if you will to the past and the embracing of the future. Although the real reason is up for debate, I really felt Chad’s absence on this track and it would be the only thing that made it even that much more amazing.
    Last edited by dreamsindigital; 11-05-2009 at 07:50 PM.
    Never felt so complete as when we're alone on the sand at night


  3. #3

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    Great review guys! I have to admit that I've never listened to this album completely. Only the major songs, Otherside, Californication and Scar Tissue. I like how you found the lyrical meanings of the songs and broke them down.

  4. #4
    Forum God Dyllon's Avatar
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    This is an amazing album by an amazing band.

    That's really all there is to say.

    Great review.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dyllon View Post
    This is an amazing album by an amazing band.

    That's really all there is to say.

    Great review.
    Much appreciated Dyllon...but I already knew you had stellar taste.

  6. #6

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    Okay, I missed this thread. How does this happen to me?

    This review was really good Dreams and Seemebe. I applaud the joint effort, and really enjoyed reading each of your thoughts, and the song meanings you shared. Thanks for taking the time!

    Californication is my favorite RHCP album, and although I agree with Seemebe (and countless others) that Fruisciante is the best fit with the Peppers, I still have a little love for OHM, and Dave Navarro. I think Dave is a little underrated as a guitarist. I saw him live a couple of years ago, and he was pretty damn good on his signature white PRS.

    Loudest of Love

    I'm tied within
    I'm luck's last match struck
    In the pouring down wind

    ~Chris Cornell~

  7. #7
    Forum Leader Droogie's Avatar
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    Nice review

    outside of the crappy mastering, it's a great album

  8. #8

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    Thanks for the nice comments everyone.

    Trey i agree that Dave is a very underrated guitarist. His catalogue of work outside of the Chili's is very impressive.
    All in all i like OHM, kinda wish they would put some of the songs live these days. But coming off the back of BSSM and with it taking over a year to complete, i feel it was always going to be an unhill struggle to get the same recognition.

    ... always makes me laugh watching Flea's 'relief' at finishing OHM... Flea's happy dance.

  9. #9

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    Flea's happy dance!

    I think we need a Dave Navarro thread.

  10. #10

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    I started to read this review a couple times, and I always seemed to get sidetracked so I finally sat down and forced myself to read it with out doing anything else.

    This is a kick ass review guys, I never really looked into the meaning of RHCPs songs but your review gave me good insight. I think Californiacation is one of their better know albums and is my second favorite behind BSSM.

    lol and Fleas happy dance....classic. haha

  11. #11

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    Thanks so much to all!

  12. #12
    Forum God Dyllon's Avatar
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    I actually haven't heard ALL of the songs of this album, so I downloaded the whole album a few hours ago.

    I still have the same opinion, though. It's freakin' awesome.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dyllon View Post
    I actually haven't heard ALL of the songs of this album, so I downloaded the whole album a few hours ago.

    I still have the same opinion, though. It's freakin' awesome.
    Pfft, and you have the cheek to say you're a RHCP fan, lol joke.
    Its a great album man, enjoy.

  14. #14
    Forum God Dyllon's Avatar
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    Haha, I know man.

    But yeah this is a great album.. y'all should do a review on Blood Sugar Sex Magik.

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dyllon View Post
    Haha, I know man.

    But yeah this is a great album.. y'all should do a review on Blood Sugar Sex Magik.
    We have another review in the works...but it's a surprise.

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