Sunday, August 14, 2011
Review: Stadium Arcadium by Red Hot Chili Peppers
Then, when one considers Stadium Arcadium by Red Hot Chili Peppers, more irony sets in when you realize this album is practically tailor-made for the digital generation. It is a double album, and it is also more a collection of songs that the listener can play in whatever order he or she wants. The two most obvious singles, "Dani California" and "Snow ((Hey Oh))," come at the top of the album, while everything else is sort of randomly ordered afterward. For most of my listening experience I considered what order I would have played the songs. I didn't make a list, but my biggest thoughts were that the list should start with "Dani California" to get the listener's attention, "Warlocks" should be followed by "C'mon Girl" because they are so similar, and the last three tracks should be "If," "Stadium Arcadium," and "Snow ((Hey Oh))" in that order, probably with another slow song leading into them (like "Strip My Mind"), because "Snow ((Hey Oh))" has this quality about it that almost nothing can possibly follow it, so it should be last.
Sadly, this album does drop off a bit in quality compared to other double albums. Fewer songs are really memorable, but good news comes in the fact that the rest are still quite good. It would be hard to go wrong with just about anything on this album, but of course, some songs are better than others. I don't really know how RHCP handles B-sides on their albums, that is, how good they are in comparison to the A-sides, but they pull them along with everything else really well.
In the interest of spotlighting a song that is not already very well known, I'm going to rule out "Dani California" and "Snow ((Hey Oh))" from the favorite song selection. My favorite was definitely the title song, "Stadium Arcadium." There's something haunting about the distant instrumentation, accompanied by enchanting vocals that grow with the song. It even surpasses the singles in many ways and I'm surprised it isn't just as popular as them.
Overall, if you can make it through two hours of one album, I recommend listening to this from start to finish, while thinking about the order you would put the songs. Comment with your orders. As an album, there's a hell of a lot of quality material in this 28-track epic. With a new RHCP album out in days, you can really get ready by picking up an album like this.
If you want to suggest something for me to review, comment or email me with your suggestion and I will consider it.