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The Mass Media

‘The Getaway’ Album Review: Not Taking me Where I Want to Go

Disclaimer: This review is extremely tardy. We apologize (not really).

I am a big Red Hot Chili Peppers fan, though I think we all know this, seeing as I covered their show a month ago. Since then, I’ve been trying to catch up on their newest album, “The Getaway,” which came out in June 2016.

Yes, I’ll admit, I’m late. While their show in Boston has already come to pass, the band is still on tour until October of this year. Which means I am allowed to argue that this is still relevant.

Regardless, this is about their album, and not about my tardiness.

Change can be for the better, if the result of that change is something better than what you had previously. Unfortunately, this does apply to the band’s new album, “The Getaway.”

I cannot pinpoint the reason for their change in direction, as I am by no means an expert in producing music, but this album makes me miss the old style of bass guitar and drums. In this new album, the Chili Peppers changed their producer from Rick Rubin to Danger Mouse, otherwise known as Brian Burton. This is significant for the Chili Peppers, as they worked with Rubin for their six previous albums, which translates to 25 years.

I do not know how much of a difference a change in producers generally makes, but Anthony Kiedis, the group’s lead vocalist, told Kerrang!, a UK-based rock music magazine, that Mouse’s style did play a significant role in how the album was made.

Kiedis told Kerrang! that the group switched to Mouse because, while Rubin is a “musical genius,” the group needed someone to “force change.” Mouse’s style is to “get rid of everything he’s not madly in love with,” whereas Rubin “just wants to let you do your thing.”

I will concede that there are a handful of the album’s 13 songs that I have come to like, though I had to listen to these songs several times to appreciate my favorite, “Dark Necessities.” “Dark Necessities” preceded the album, as the single was released in May 2016, two weeks before their tour began. Kiedis describes the album as something very different when compared to their previous works.

I would say that despite what the album’s title alludes to, “The Getaway” does not takes me to another place. However, my main complaint concerning the album is that I miss the old sound of Chili Peppers. The reason my favorite song on the album is “Dark Necessities” is probably because the opening reminds me of some of their old stuff, though I’m still not 100 percent sure on which song it reminds me of. My best guess is that it might be “Can’t Stop,” which was released in 2002.

The reporter told Kiedis that “Dark Necessities,” as a song, “took me two or three listens, but it’s [a] really addictive piece of music, and I keep on listening to it repeat all the time.” I wish I could say that I’m not addicted, but I have to admit that I listened to the song a lot, and I would randomly start singing it for days.

Overall, my summary is this: do not put this album as a priority purchase. I know the Chili Peppers are getting older, but I sincerely hope that this is not their last album. More importantly, I hope that, on the next album, they decide to kick it old school and go back to some of their original music.
If you are going to download an album of the band, “Sex Sugar Blood Magik” was their most popular album. I personally would be more inclined to hear the sounds of “Californication,” as those are the songs that I am more familiar with.