Stadium Arcadium [Special Edition] [Explicit Lyrics]

( 3 )

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David Sprague
Coming 30 years into the Red Hot Chili Peppers saga, the barrier-defying double album Stadium Arcadium trades the usual sophomoric shock tactics for something truly surprising.. Here, the ultimate West Coast party band proves that the strategically placed tube socks are a thing of the past and that they deserve -- gasp! -- to be taken seriously. Thank guitarist John Frusciante, who's more of a presence here than usual, lacing songs like "Charlie" with dizzy, art-tastic guitar solos and pushing his fellow Peppers into heretofore unexplored territory, as on the Stereolab-on-steroids power drone "Animal Bar." There's a good bit of new ground covered here, primarily on the...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David Sprague
Coming 30 years into the Red Hot Chili Peppers saga, the barrier-defying double album Stadium Arcadium trades the usual sophomoric shock tactics for something truly surprising.. Here, the ultimate West Coast party band proves that the strategically placed tube socks are a thing of the past and that they deserve -- gasp! -- to be taken seriously. Thank guitarist John Frusciante, who's more of a presence here than usual, lacing songs like "Charlie" with dizzy, art-tastic guitar solos and pushing his fellow Peppers into heretofore unexplored territory, as on the Stereolab-on-steroids power drone "Animal Bar." There's a good bit of new ground covered here, primarily on the second disc, which is subtitled "Mars." On "21st Century," for instance, bassist Flea corrals his over-the-top funkateering, marshaling out the notes in a spare, angular style that's more reminiscent of Gang of Four than the Ohio Players. The set's first disc, a.k.a. "Jupiter," has more of a classic Chilis vibe, replete with purposefully goofy, rhythm-dominated odes to knockin' boots: Flea makes the most of the chance to grind his pelvis into the groove of "Bump Da Bump," while frontman Anthony Kiedis works his stream-of-consciousness mojo on the delirious "Especially in Michigan." The smattering of ballads here -- relatively few compared to the band's most recent studio efforts -- fall short of the emotional oomph of, say, "Under the Bridge." But when the Peppers get it right, as they do for most of Stadium Arcadium, they tickle and provoke, nudge and wink, and make it easy to tell 'em to hold on tight and don't let go.
All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Indulgence has long been a way of life for the Red Hot Chili Peppers, yet they resisted the siren's call of the double album until 2006's Stadium Arcadium. Sure, 1991's breakthrough Blood Sugar Sex Magik was as long as a classic double LP, but such distinctions mattered little in the era when vinyl gave way to CD, and they matter less now, as the CD gradually gives way to digital-only releases. In fact, like how Blood Sugar was the tipping point when the LPs ceded ground to CDs, Stadium Arcadium could be seen as the point when albums were seen as a collection of digital playlists. Yes, it's pressed up as a two-disc set -- including an extravagant but pointless special edition housed in a clunky box that includes a make-yer-own-spinning-top -- but this is an album that's designed for you to mix and match, create your own playlist, rip and burn on your own. It's designed for you to sequence its 28 songs in some kind of cohesive manner, since the band sure didn't take the time to do that here; it's the first major album by a major band that makes as much sense on random as it does in its proper sequencing. Well, that's not entirely true: the official 28-song album does begin with "Dani California," the clearest single here, the one thing that truly grabs attention upon first listen and worms its way into your subconscious, where it just won't let go, as so much of Anthony Kiedis' catchiest melodies do. After that, it's a long, winding path of alternately spacey and sunny pop, ballads, and the occasional funk workout that used to be the Chili Peppers' signature but now functions as a way to break up the monotony. And there needs to be something to break up the monotony, not because the music is bad but because it all exists at the same level and is given a flat, colorless production that has become the signature of Rick Rubin as of late. Rubin may be able to create the right atmosphere for Flea and John Frusciante to run wild creatively -- an opportunity that they seize here, which is indeed a pleasure to hear -- but he does nothing to encourage them to brighten the finished recording up with some different textures, or even a greater variety of guitar tones. As such, the bare-bone production combined with the relentless march of songs gives Stadium Arcadium the undeniable feel of wading through the demos for a promising project instead of a sprawling statement of purpose; there's not enough purpose here for it to be a statement. That fault is down to the band not forming the raw material into something palatable for the listener, but there's also the problem that as a lyricist Anthony Kiedis just isn't that deep or clever enough to provide cohesive themes for an album of this length; he tackles no new themes here, nor does he provide new insight to familiar topics. To his credit, he does display a greater versatility as a vocalist, cutting back on the hambone rapping that used to be his signature and crooning throughout the bulk of this album, usually on key. That said, he still has enough goofy tics to undercut his attempts at sincerity, and he tends to be a bit of a liability to the band as a whole; with a different singer, who could help shape and deliver these songs, this album might not seem as formless and gormless. But there is a fair amount of pleasures here, all down to the interplay between Flea and Frusciante. While drummer Chad Smith does prove himself quite versatile here, gracefully following the eccentric turns and meanderings of the bassist and guitarist, the string instruments are the reason to listen to Stadium Arcadium. That's always been the case to a certain extent with the Chili Peppers, but here it's especially true, as they push and pull, rave and rumble, lie back and rock out -- pretty much spit out anything they can do on their instruments over the course of 28 songs. As good as much of this is, there is a little bit of monotony here, since they're working variations on their signature themes, and they haven't found a way to make these variations either transcendent or new; they're just very good renditions on familiar themes. These tracks rarely betray their origins as studio jams -- more than ever, it's possible to hear that the track came first, then the song -- and while that can result in some good listening, it all does kind of drift together. That said, there are no bad tracks here -- it's all of a relatively high quality -- but there are no standouts either, so it takes a very dedicated fan to start sorting out the subtleties between the tracks (not the wheat from the chafe, since it's all wheat). And while those hardcore fans may certainly enjoy the make-your-own-adventure spirit of Stadium Arcadium, it's hard not to feel that it's the band's responsibility to take this very good repetitive album and mold it into something sharper and more effective. So call it the rock version of Peter Jackson's King Kong: there's something pretty great and lean buried beneath the excess, but it's so indulgent, it's a work that only a fanboy could truly love.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 1/30/2007
  • Label: Warner Bros / Wea
  • UPC: 093624999614
  • Catalog Number: 49996

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Dani California (4:42)
  2. 2 Snow (Hey Oh) (5:34)
  3. 3 Charlie (4:37)
  4. 4 Stadium Arcadium (5:15)
  5. 5 Hump de Bump (3:33)
  6. 6 She's Only 18 (3:25)
  7. 7 Slow Cheetah (5:19)
  8. 8 Torture Me (3:44)
  9. 9 Strip My Mind (4:19)
  10. 10 Especially in Michigan (4:00)
  11. 11 Warlocks (3:25)
  12. 12 C'mon Girl (3:48)
  13. 13 Wet Sand (5:09)
  14. 14 Hey (5:39)
Disc 2
  1. 1 Desecration Smile (5:01)
  2. 2 Tell Me Baby (4:07)
  3. 3 Hard to Concentrate (4:01)
  4. 4 21st Century (4:22)
  5. 5 She Looks to Me (4:06)
  6. 6 Readymade (4:30)
  7. 7 If (2:52)
  8. 8 Make You Feel Better (3:51)
  9. 9 Animal Bar (5:25)
  10. 10 So Much I (3:44)
  11. 11 Storm in a Teacup (3:45)
  12. 12 We Believe (3:36)
  13. 13 Turn It Again (6:06)
  14. 14 Death of a Martian (4:24)
Disc 3
  1. 1 Dani California
  2. 2 Track by Track Interviews with the Band
  3. 3 Making of "Dani California"
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Red Hot Chili Peppers Primary Artist
Billy Preston Tambourine
Lenny Castro Percussion
Paulinho Da Costa Percussion
Richard Dodd Cello
Brad Warnaar French Horn
Omar Rodriguez-Lopez Guitar, Soloist
Emily Kokal Choir, Chorus
Michael Bolger Trombone
Natalie Baber Choir, Chorus
Mylissa Hoffman Choir, Chorus
Alexis Izenstark Choir, Chorus
Spencer Izenstark Choir, Chorus
Dylan Lerner Choir, Chorus
Kyle Lerner Choir, Chorus
Gabrielle Mosbe Choir, Chorus
Sophia Mosbe Choir, Chorus
Isabella Shmelev Choir, Chorus
Landen Starkman Choir, Chorus
Wyatt Starkman Choir, Chorus
Technical Credits
Red Hot Chili Peppers Art Direction
Flea Composer
John Frusciante Composer
Tony Kaye Director
Anthony Kiedis Composer
Rick Rubin Producer
Chad Smith Composer
David May Producer
Andrew Scheps Engineer
Ryan Hewitt Engineer
Vlado Meller Mastering
John Cohan Drum Technician
Raena Winscott Producer
Jason Lader Engineer
Rachel Curl Producer
Michael A. Perlmutter Director
Dana Nielsen Engineer
Mark Linette Engineer
Tony Friedman Mastering
Chris Holmes Engineer
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 3 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(1)

4 Star

(2)

3 Star

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1 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    it was ok

    not enough hard funk and/or rock.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Best CD EVER!

    This is one of the best CD's the Chili Peppers have come out with. Anthony's voice has improved greatly(not sayin he was bad before) Flea has great bass licks, and John has amazing guitar solos. The drums are amazing. Listen to this CD to hear Chad Smith at his finest.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 2, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews