With The Getaway, Red Hot Chili Peppers’ first album since 1991’s Blood Sugar Sex Magik not to be produced by Rick Rubin, change was always on the cards as the legendary rock quartet hired Brian Burton, aka Danger Mouse as producer. Simply put, they chose wisely.
Danger Mouse’s influence has seen the band flung into the 21st century with synthesisers, drum loops, distorted vocals and avant-garde guitar commonplace throughout the album. The often-wistful nature of many post Californication-era Chili Peppers songs is heavily noticeable on this album, as frontman Anthony Kiedis sings “I don’t take these things so personal anymore, I don’t think it’s irreversible anymore” on the 80’s sounding funk-infused ‘Go Robot’.
Ballad, ‘Feasting On The Flowers’ continues this trend as Kiedis elucidates on the death of former guitarist Hillel Slovak: “Last thing I remember there was ringing in my selfish ear, twenty-six a number much too small for someone’s golden years”, soberly reminding listeners of the struggles the band has overcome since its inception in 1983.
The much-anticipated ‘Encore’, born from ‘That Jam’ which only hardcore Chili Pepper fans will know, is equally as beautiful as the song that succeeds it; ‘The Hunter’ would not sound out of place as the soundtrack to a classic movie.
The likes of ‘This Ticonderoga’ and ‘Detroit’, the latter of which pays homage J Dilla and The Stooges, are in true Chili Pepper fashion with the raw, fast-paced guitar another sign of Josh Klinghoffer’s huge talent and budding confidence as a member of the band.
‘Sick Love’ features legendary singer and songwriter Elton John on piano, but despite the songs modern sound, feels very similar to ‘Bennie and The Jets’ by Elton himself, perhaps making this a slightly weaker part of the album. ‘Goodbye Angels’ though, is the standout song on the album as Anthony lucidly delves into a relationship breakup on which much of the album is based, singing: “Suicide a month before I met you, deep regrets, I never could forget you” before Flea and Josh combine to produce one of the most stunning solos of the album.
The Chili Peppers have evolved to ensure that after 30 years they still remain as current as ever. The Getaway may well represent their most risky but virtuoso work to date, effortlessly transitioning between a mixture of melancholy and funk, meticulously produced by Danger Mouse.