Worst Albums Of All Time: Red Hot Chili Peppers – “Californication”

Red Hot Chili Peppers - CalifornicationI have to be honest – I’ve never liked the Red Hot Chili Peppers. They just always seemed so silly. Their socks-on-cocks, misogynistic frat-boy attitude never sat well with me, but I’m willing to forgive a lot if the songs are good enough. Unfortunately, as far as I’m concerned, they aren’t, and never have been. Song after song of mid-tempo, snore infused, slap bass twaddle (slap bass has never been cool, for the record) that has me reaching for the cyanide capsule every time. They should tour with Ben Harper and Jack Johnson (watch this space, I’m sure) as the “Sure Fire Insomnia Cure Tour”. They would make millions.

Even their supposed “classic” album Blood Sugar Sex Magick does absolutely nothing for me. “‘Under the Bridge’ is deep. It’s about heroin addiction, man”. Are you sure it’s not about Mandrax? Because that’s how I feel when I listen to their music.

I’ll admit, I don’t mind John Frusciante’s guitar playing too much. He writes tidy, often memorable riffs, and his solos are economical and not overly showy. I also didn’t overly hate the album they did with Dave Navarro, One Hot Minute, as it at least stood out from the rest of their catalogue. For this reason it seems to be one of the most hated albums by the band’s fans – why change a knuckle dragging formula when you can keep churning out the same old tosh and people will keep buying it?

So it was with some difficulty that I selected just one album to enter into the Worst Albums Of All Time Chart. I settled on Californication because it was the point when things got really monotonous. Up to this point, they at least tried to display some semblance of variety in their music. Californication is where they first started releasing songs like “DaniCalifornicationTissue Song” (such is my understanding), where every single was identical to the last.

Even the cover is awful. Is that a swimming pool filled with fire? A sunset? The blood from my eyeballs after staring at the cover for too long? I imagine the ideas for cover design went something like this:

“How about a bong?”
“How about a guy surfing?”
“How about some beers?”
“How about a swimming pool?”
“I like it! A bit cliched perhaps?”
(Looking out the window) “A swimming pool with a sunset in it?”
“Done! Pass the rolled up $50 and the burnt spoon.”

Anyway, the songs. First up is “Around The World” (that’s the one with the white-boy funk, with the lyrics that are like, about the world and stuff). Some of the album’s most thought provoking lyrics are contained here, such as: “I know I know for sure/ That life is beautiful around the world/ I know I know it’s you / You say hello and then I say I do”. You had me at “for fuck’s sake”.

“Scar Tissue” was one of the other singles off this album (it’s the one that sounds exactly like “Around The World” but without the funk, and the lyrics are like, about drugs and stuff), as was “Otherside” (that’s the one that makes the previous two sound like Black Flag excitement-wise, and the lyrics are like, about drugs and stuff). Title track and other single “Californication” (that’s the one that’s near identical to “Otherside”, with lyrics about like, California …oh, and drugs and stuff) lowers the pulse even further to the point where you’ll want to put on some Barry Manilow just to check that you still have a pulse.

Other “highlights” include “Get On Top” (subject: sex), which thankfully ups the tempo a bit, unfortunately in the form of white boy funk; “Porcelain” (subject: love? I’m not sure as I fell asleep at this point), which is so dull it will make your eyes water and ears bleed profusely; “I Like Dirt” (subject: sex) which contains lyrics like “The earth is made of dirt / and wood / And I’d be water if I could / Live in a dream / In your stream / Live in a dream” and a chorus that repeats “I Like Dirt” over and over; “This Velvet Glove” (subject: sex and drugs) which is completely indistinguishable from anything else on the album. I think I’ll stop there, as I am seriously damaging my faith in music and the people that listen to it by over-examining this inexorable garbage. Examining Red Hot Chili Peppers in detail is the musical equivalent of putting a dog turd under a microscope: you may notice a few details you didn’t see at first, but ultimately you’re still digging through shit.

Overall this album is probably the whitest thing I’ve ever heard in my life: Californication is whiter than John Key wearing a Tool Tshirt while riding a segway to a cricket game. I may be middle class and white, but it’s not like I sit around thinking “Hip hop is fine and everything, but when is someone going to write music about me. Where are the songs about driving my parent’s car, hanging out with friends at frat parties, surfing, fucking and doing designer drugs? Where is my music?” And that’s the Red Hot Chili Peppers for you in a nutshell: they are the #ProblemsWhitePeopleHave of music.

Right, now I’m off to drink 15 coffees and listen to something with a bit of energy in it, just to remind myself that I’m alive and that there is still good music in the world. As the popular saying goes: Don’t let Californication destroy your will to live.

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134 Responses to Worst Albums Of All Time: Red Hot Chili Peppers – “Californication”

  1. Bradly says:

    The problem with making reviews about stuff you hate is that you often make factual error’s. Get it right, not many people will take you seriously.

    • Dan says:

      Ah, another of those ‘Factual Errors of Opinion’ or did you fail to place precisely the right date in precisely the right point.

      • dweezill says:

        if you were driving a t the speed of light listening to red hot chiil peppers, and you turned your head lights on would they work?? and if you shoot a mime do you have to use a silencer??

  2. Mike says:

    The problem with complaining vaguely about stuff on the internet is that people often have no idea what you are talking about. Would love to know what factual “error’s” I’ve made.

    • Eric W says:

      youre seriously an ignorant asshole. the red hot chili peppers are one of the most successful rock bands of all time, offering so much variety and spice to their listeners. they are in no way whatsoever misogynistic or frat-like, and you are the first person ive ever known to think poorly of slapping the bass, obviously meaning you are the odd one out on that one, bud. its awfully toxic people like you that fill others’ minds with bullshit and anger that makes us feel hate, ultimately meaning you and your piece of shit personality type are the sole cause of anything negative that humans have ever experienced. im not one to get too involved in random blogs on random websites about random shit, but insulting the people who have been such role models and icons for so many of us is just plain foolish. people like you make me lose faith in humanity. i also personally guarantee that you have not even heard most of their music, given your extremely skewed viewpoint of them. everyone loves the chili peppers, so if you dont, keep your pathetic bullshit to yourself and spare us of experiencing any of it. now go make yourself a cup of tea and sit the fuck down and listen to a couple chili peppers albums that you know youve never heard. have a nice day pal, and good luck in life with that shit head on your shoulders.

      • Mike says:

        That’s sort of the point: if you’ve heard one Chilis song you’ve heard ’em all. “Dani California” = “Californication” = “Rain Dance Maggie” etc etc. Boring music for boring people that hate change. And capitalisation apparently.

      • Aidan says:

        I agree with you Eric, this person probably listens to nickel back lol

  3. Silly twit says:

    What’s wrong with you? Does music need to be moving at breakneck speed to be enjoyable? Can a song not have repeating lyrics? I don’t understand how you can think all those songs are almost exactly the same… You know what, I’m gonna go listen to californication and laugh at your ignorance.

  4. Mike says:

    I love how so far everyone who has disagreed with me has read “difference of opinion” as “complete factual inaccuracy”.

    The speed has nothing to do with it (although god knows it could do with a bit of excitement). The fact is that Californication has all the passion of a bunch of accountants getting together and writing a concept album about taxes and white bread. The Chili Peppers have always been a horrible caricature of a band, and this album marked the transition from their cartoonish silliness into epic blandness – a trajectory they have followed closely ever since.

  5. JD says:

    Wow, you’re an asshole.

  6. Mike says:


  7. Sandrine says:

    When you don’t like something, you ignore it, if you spend so much time describing it, well! They win because you bother writing about it. RHCP I love you, you rock and I think you are a real band with a real spirit !!!!!

    • Mike says:

      Nice understanding of the basics of music criticism in general there. (Impressive punctuation too – you really drove the point home with those extra exclamation points).

      Seriously, can no one mount a decent defense of the Red Hot Chili Peppers? So far we’ve had “You’re wrong! [Citation Needed]” and “You’re a dick!” – and that’s been about the gist of it. Nice work Chili’s fans, your bland taste in music is matched only by your inability to construct a decent, well reasoned argument.

      • Mike says:

        Also by spending time writing a criticism of my review rather than ignoring it, don’t you fall under exactly the same argument that you’ve just made? It’s like moronception over here.

      • Charlie Howe says:

        Freaky Styley (1985) – BPI Silver record
        The Uplift Mofo Party Plan (1987) – RIAA Gold record
        Mother’s Milk (1989) – RIAA Platinum record, MC Gold record, BPI Silver
        Blood Sugar Sex Magik (1991) – RIAA 7× Platinum record, ARIA 6× Platinum record, BPI 3× Platinum record, BVMI Platinum record, MC 4× Platinum record
        One Hot Minute (1995): RIAA 2× Platinum record, BPI Gold record, MC Platinum record
        Californication (1999) – RIAA 5× Platinum record, ARIA 8× Platinum record, BPI 4× Platinum record, BVMI 3× Gold record, IFPI AUT 2× Platinum record, IFPI SWI 2× Platinum record, MC 3× Platinum record, RIANZ 8× Platinum record, SNEP 2× Gold record
        By The Way – RIAA: 2× Platinum record, ARIA 5× Platinum record, BEA Gold record, BPI 6× Platinum record, BVMI 3× Gold record, IFPI AUT Platinum record, IFPI SWI 2× Platinum record, MC 2× Platinum record, RIANZ 2× Platinum record, SNEP Platinum record
        Stadium Arcadium – RIAA 2× Platinum record, ARIA 3× Platinum record, BEA Platinum record, BPI 2× Platinum record, BVMI 5× Gold record, IFPI AUT Platinum record, IFPI SWI 2× Platinum record, IRMA 4× Platinum record, MC 4× Platinum record, RIANZ 3× Platinum record, SNEP Platinum record

        Grammy Award for Best Rock Album
        2007 · Stadium Arcadium
        MTV Europe Music Award for Best Rock
        2002, 2000
        MTV Europe Music Award for Best Album
        2006 · Stadium Arcadium
        Grammy Award for Best Hard Rock Performance
        1993 · Give It Away
        MTV Europe Music Award for Best Live Act
        MTV Video Music Award for Viewer’s Choice
        1992 · Under The Bridge
        MTV Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award
        MTV Video Music Award for Best Art Direction
        2006, 2000, 1992 · Dani California, Californication, Give It Away
        MTV Video Music Award for Best Direction
        2000 · Californication
        Grammy Award for Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal
        2007 · Dani California
        MTV Video Music Award Best Breakthrough Video
        1992 · Give It Away
        American Music Award for Favorite Alternative Artist
        2006, 2000
        Brit Award for International Group
        American Music Award for Favorite Pop/Rock Band/Duo/Group
        MTV Video Music Award for Best Artist Website
        1999 · redhotchilipeppers.com
        Kerrang! Award for Best International Band
        Echo Award for Best International Rock/Alternative Group
        2012 · I’m with You
        Echo Award for Best International Rock/Pop Group
        2007, 2003 · Stadium Arcadium, By the Way
        MuchMusic Video Awards for International Video of the Year
        2000 · Californication
        Porin Award for Best International Album Outside of Classical and Jazz Music
        2007 · Stadium Arcadium
        Porin Award for Best Foreign Video Programme
        2003 · Off the Map
        Porin Award for Best Foreign Pop/Rock Album
        2003 · By the Way
        Porin Award for Best International Song
        2007 · Snow ((Hey Oh))
        MTV Australia Award for Best Group
        2007 · Dani California
        Kerrang! Classic Songwriter Award

      • Trrrrs says:

        I think the factual inaccuracies people are talking about are when you claim what the songs are about. Obviously californication isn’t about california, it’s about the exportation of californian/Hollywood culture and dreams.

        Not sure how you characterise this velvet glove as about sex and drugs either.

  8. Riardo says:

    Stupid article wast of time guess why everyone has a different taste of music I FUCKING LOVE THIS ALBUM IYS ONE OF THE BEST

    • Mike says:

      You make a strong case there, what with all the capital letters and all. I also like how you make a point of saying “everyone has a different taste of music”, yet are clearly offended WHEN SOMEONE ELSE’S TASTE DOESN’T MATCH UP WITH YOURS.

      • Homophobe says:

        Mike, you’re a fag, just sit down and listen to the shit you listen to that you call “music”. You obviously don’t get enough attention at work, the local bar or at home from your family. Go find attention somewhere else without shit talking one of the greatest rock bands of all time.

    • dweezill says:

      worst band ever and you like them ??????

  9. Stevo says:

    Hey bro, the Chillis are the bomb. Sure they aren’t wone of your hipster cool bands but there’s nothing I like more than chilling with my bros on a summer night that listening to the Chillis.

    • Mike says:

      The Red Hot Chili Peppers spell the word “chili” with one “l”. So after all those years of listening to the Chili’s, you’ve never even bothered to find out how to spell their name properly. Conclusion = fucking genius.

    • Dan says:

      Do you find people avoid you at parties and that a lot of your friends make excuses not to hang around with you?

  10. Matt says:

    To Mike:

    Sure, your taste in music (or distaste) is a matter of opinion, but you probably should have drank those 15 coffees before listening to them, because it’s not sleep inducing music. They have plenty of variety in tempo and style. Slap bass has never been cool? It’s clear you didn’t listen to nearly all their music from your poorly analytic, shallow article. It’s also quite apparent that you don’t have much music knowledge. Reading through your articles is what’s like putting a dog turd under a microscope. There’s a few details – like your focus on the excerpt of lyrics with the repeating “how about” – that are very true and worthwhile, but ultimately you’re just digging through shit.

    Good day and good luck with your writing because you certainly need it!

    • Mike says:

      So a bong, surfing and beers are very true and worthwhile subject matter?

      • Matt says:

        no, nooo. I was agreeing with you there, brother. They do indeed have very many weak and uninspiring lyrics. The magic behind this band is that they know how to combine different sounds, instruments, and effects to create music that is just plain out nice on the ears. It sounds silly, but I hardly think about/listen to the words (I certainly don’t expect a lot of people to do) so perhaps that’s why I can appreciate it a little more. I agree with you though.

      • Patrick daemon says:

        It’s music, man, everything’s a “worthwhile subject matter”. It’s just self-expression. You sound just as dumb as those middle-class white kids you mentioned. Maybe you should write a list of what counts as worthwhile subject matter (I’m guessing it won’t include #ProblemsWhitePeopleHave, only stuff thats “Gritty™” or “Real™” and “Deep™”) to save all musicians & artists the time? To be honest I find most music these past few years to be so overly sentimental, serious or self-indulgent, that at times recently I find myself listening to some sheer stupid music & lyrics ala Sublime, P-Funk, Eno, Beatles etc just to shake off the cringeworthy “grittiness” of the current era of insipid wannabe-poets baring their soul. Not everybody needs to write lyrics like Bob Dylan, there’s only one Bob Dylan (thank god!).
        It’s just music. They’re just a band. Getting so irate about a single band in this era of musical abundance is a pointless waste of your own energy surely?
        Personally, RHCP kinda fell off my map after Californication, and I went through a phase of really disliking them, what with the near-constant jabbering about California. But having ‘rediscovered’ them recently in a fit of nostalgia-surfing on Spotify, it really brings back fond memories of misspent teenage summers (ah those halcyon days lol). But it goes to show, that music doesn’t need to be “deep” or pretentious to evoke emotion. And surely isn’t that the point of music in the end? To transport your mind to another place, time or dimension, If only momentarily..

  11. Matt says:

    As someone previously stated, this article is indeed littered with errors. A small one for instance, is that you said slap bass has never been cool. I’m not saying I think it’s cool, but there wouldn’t have been so much music and hype surrounding it at various times since it’s origin if it was never cool. That is something that’s not opinion.. Simply ignorant on your part, but I’m not going to sit here and proofread/edit your paper for you.

    • Mike says:

      How can declaring that something has never been cool be a factual error? Since when was coolness factually provable/ unprovable?

      • Matt says:

        Because if it weren’t cool, it wouldn’t have gained such popularity!

        By the way, I apologize for coming off sour. I looked through more of the site, and it’s not bad at all. This RHCP matter is something we simply disagree on. Keep it up!

        • Mike says:

          Ok cheers, mate. And thank you for being one of the few well thought out and well punctuated replies on this post, despite our differing of opinions.

          • Matt says:

            Yeah, of course! The rest of these dipshits! I’m embarrassed to be an American sometimes.

            I’ll have to give Best Coast a listen.

  12. Mike says:

    I’m not the only person that thinks the Red Hot Chili Peppers are completely uninspired rubbish. Here’s a quote from Nick Cave:

    “I’m forever near a stereo saying, ‘What the fuck is this garbage?’ And the answer is always the Red Hot Chili Peppers.”

    Source: http://flavorwire.com/200333/the-30-harshest-musician-on-musician-insults-in-history#3

  13. Sean says:

    I disagree with you about RHCP, however all the hate you are getting for stating your opinion is just outlandish. I mean at the end of the day it is just music right? Chill out folks, no need to fight over shit like this. Anyway, I find RHCP to be an alright band even though they are not deserving of all the fame they get in my opinion. Sorry for the long post.

  14. Arma says:

    Your fucking ignorant, you don’t even know what music means. I think this is your idea that alot of people do like RHCP and might give a fuck posting comments in this nonsense blog.

  15. Alex says:

    RHCP make great music, if a little inconsistently, and in terms of style/originality I cant really think of any other band I could compare them to. This review focuses to much on the tempo of the songs I think.

  16. Andre' says:

    Have you ever listened to their first few albums like Freaky Styley (One of my faorite albums) and Uplift Mofo Party Plan? Seriously these guys were fucking nuts when they were starting out.

    I love how you say “Where are the songs about taking my dad’s car? Going party it up with my friends? etc.”Everyone else in the industry writes songs like that and it’s all redundant, ignorant, and a lot of it sounds the same. The have a unique sound that stands out from the rest. A lot of other bands in popular music today all sounds the same no matter what genre being rap or country. And the band has gotten older and mature so their music has as well so they won’t go back to playing music just for the kids, they make it for everyone to enjoy.

    This coming from a hardcore RHCP fan. I do understand about your hatred to Californication. I really find it overrated. Most of the singles do sound the same and all. I much prefer listening to the rest of their songs on their albums and B-Sides. Rain Dance Maggie is the worst song they have made and I have ever heard.

  17. Jon says:

    It’s fine if you think the Chili Peppers suck, but some are the statements in this article make absolutely no logical sense. First of all, you call their music “snore infused….twaddle…” Perhaps I can see this with certain songs (Snow) but overall their music is anything but snore inducing. Have a listen to the frantic funk from earlier in their career; it may not be your cup of tea but it’s anything but boring.
    And then you mention how they lack “variety” in their music. We are talking about the Chili Peppers right? The band that basically invented rap rock, and plays everything from folky acoustic music to straight up funk and everything in between. The fact is few bands are as versatile as the Chili Peppers.

  18. Sam says:

    Man, you suck
    That’s the best music

  19. Michael says:

    Here we go:

    This Velvet Glove is not about sex, nor is it about drugs. It is about loving someone, and them not loving you back, and the pain of seeing someone else being better for them.

    Otherside is not about drugs, it is a reflection on those who have DIED from drug use, i.e. being a dozen people in Anthony Keidis’s life.

    I couldn’t exactly say what Scar Tissue is about, but its definitely not about drugs.

    Get on Top isn’t really about sex, i’d say its about being a rebellious teenager.

    Porcelain is quite mind-numbing, but it isn’t about love or sex, its about a single mother with a drug addiction.

    Likely the only songs specifically about sex are I Like Dirt, as you said, and obviously Purple Stain.

    On to the music now:

    The majority of Flea’s style is NOT slap bass, nor has it been for at least two decades. Your comment about slap bass not being “cool” is pure opinion, and if you don’t like funk, why are you listening to this band?

    And while you may not like their styles, you cannot deny that the three musicians in the band are some of the BEST at their respective instruments; Flea makes at least top 10 in most people’s lists for bassists, not just because of his slap, but because of his incredibly varied style. He uses slap, pop-slap, classical style, and double/triple-stops all intermittent with each other; John Frusciante is one of the greatest guitarists of his generation, both for his guitar solos and his breadth of style; last but not least, Chad Smith is another great musician, often not given the attention he deserves, and he isn’t even showing his full potential within the Chili Peppers. He is a critically acclaimed MASTER of the ghost note, and has both power and undeniable style. I would say that he adds more than just about any other drummer to his band, save perhaps greats like John Bonham or Keith Moon.

    I will definitely admit that Anthony’s “Dr. Suessy” lyrics leave something to be desired, but I prefer his poetic ramblings over the either stupidly emo whinings of bands like Linkin Park or Blink 182, or completely banal party anthems of bands like fun. or Phoenix. You CANNOT deny that this band’s predecessors had equally or even more nonsensical or stupid lyrics. “I want to Rock and Roll all night… and party every day!” “Bang Bang Maxwell’s silver hammer!” “exit light, enter night, take my hand, we’re off to never never land!”

    I could go on.

    Once again, I have to admit, that their music definitely lacks… energy. You can just hear that they aren’t putting EVERYTHING they have into their music, which is truly a shame.

    Anyways, that is all I have to say.

    • BassSloth says:

      Mother of Cthulhu, Linking Pork, RUN FOR YOUR LIVES!

      Yes, I definitely prefer half a day of listening to RHCP than having to suffer a single Linkin Pork song.

  20. New Age Retro Hippie says:

    why are the red hot chili peppers’ veins in danger of collapsing?

    because the band has had so many “hits”.

  21. Edwin Montesinos says:

    As a RHCP fan. I really hate the most commercial songs they have (Californication, Give It Away, Dani California, Snow ((Hey Oh)).. and many more) but I do enjoy listening some of them…
    So I can see why many people say that they suck.
    Nevertheless, I don’t think all their songs sound the same.
    But yeah, I listened Californication many many times that I completely ruined the album for me.
    I think many people say they suck because their songs are always on the radio, and I really hate the songs they have there.
    Well, it’s nice to see your opinion. And I would like to know what band you listen to.

    But yeah, the lyrics really lack of sense sometimes (most of the time).. I think no one, but Anthony Kiedis, could say what are them about. Mainly because the lyrics are random things that singer brought up when the band is jaming.

  22. Soundgarden did more with funk in one song than Red Shit Pilly Poppers did in a career, with the track Fresh Tendrils off Superunknown in 1994. The album was produced by Michael Beinhorn, who produced one of the early RHCP albums (and wrote a long article that boils down to it being a peak experience, in terms of peak shittiness).

  23. Jason says:

    I have a question for you Mike. This will tell me alot about you. Do you play any instrument?
    If you do, what do you play.

    • Mike says:

      I do play a couple of instruments actually, not that that has anything to do with anything. See my comments on good musicianship on shitty songs below.

  24. Sam says:

    I’d like to first start off by saying that I completely and whole-heartedly disagree with just about every statement in this album. I’ll admit it was funny though, I’ll give you that much. His lyrics (especially from One Hot Minute until now) are so absurdly fantastic that I don’t even think your ignorant mind could potentially comprehend anything he’s trying to get across, seeing as you bashed his lyrics. They aren’t all about drugs-Scar Tissue is. This Velvet Glove is about depression, Otherside is about his friend who overdosed on drugs, and Californication is expertly written about the biased, fake, and over-eccentric underbelly of Hollywood(Space may be the final frontier but it’s made in a Hollywood basement). You may not like funk, but at least respect them for being forty and being able to groove as well as they do. Oh! And the cover is the sky in the pool and the pool in te sky, symbolizing Californication. Have anything else to say?

    • Mike says:

      What does their ability as musicians or to be able to “groove” have to do with anything? A good musician on a shit song is still a shit song. It’s like putting icing on a dog turd and calling it a cupcake.

      And what the fuck does “the cover is the sky in the pool and the pool in the sky, symbolizing Californication” mean? I actually have less of an idea of what the cover is about after reading that drivel.

      • Mike says:

        Also there are retarded children speaking english as a second language that can write better lyrics than Anthony Keidis. How many time can one dude rhyme the words “funky” and “junkie” with a straight face?

  25. Sam says:

    *article, damn autocorrect

  26. Sam says:

    Also, I think that lyrics are interpretive, but they all have universal meaning generally

  27. Sam says:

    But you see, what characterizes a “shit song”? Because you said that their groove and musical ability has nothing to do with song quality which is a most invalid point

    • Mike says:

      Good songwriting makes good songs. It doesn’t matter if you’re an amazing player or not, if you’re playing on a shitty song (poor lyrics, forgettable melody, sounds horrible etc) then it’s all for nothing.

      The best artists in the world aren’t the ones that studied at music school the longest, they’re the ones with character, songwriting ability, charisma. Otherwise we’d all just be sitting round and watching prog rock acts where the musicians are having more fun than the audience. Musical masturbation, in other words.

  28. Sam says:

    And what does that last post even mean? You got fed up with what I said and tried to back up the point that you don’t like the album by using a dispensable metaphor that uses no logic and basically says, “Grrrr I don’t like the album because I don’t like it.”

    • Mike says:

      Of course I don’t like the album because I don’t like it. What more reason do I need than that? (Although I’ve given you about ten). This is a blog where I express my opinions on musical subjects. Why would I pretend to like something I don’t just because some numbnuts in the comments section thinks he’s got it all worked out?

  29. Sam says:

    You know what? You are absolutely correct, this is simply your opinion and, in case you haven’t noticed, I may not agree with it, but I do respect it.

  30. Dan says:

    The irony is that everyone commenting here, even the people defending the RHCPs, makes more sense than Anthony Kiedis. You should all give yourselves a pat on the back and get another beer. You deserve it.

  31. Hoss says:

    I’m an Indian male. I don’t understand why you’re shaming your own race to criticize an album that doesn’t suit your interest.

    You think slap bass isn’t cool? I respect that, but I humbly disagree. Do the sex references and slowness of the album put you off? I get that; sometimes it’s a little too ostensible. Is this album a mindless frat boy medley that epitomizes white culture and puts you off for its central theme?

    Why are you so concerned about that?

    I don’t think that finding things that are aesthetically wrong with the Chili’s music is bad; in fact, thank you for noticing things that I didn’t pick up. But seriously? You’re generalizing their lives and history without even considering the context for their music.

    Accusing the Chilis of coming up with the album cover after smoking a bong is as ridiculous as accusing Albert Einstein of coming up with his scientific theories after reading “Mein Kampf.”

    “Wait but Hitler and Einstein were both German right?” If you make that assumption, then you’d be missing the detail that Einstein was a Jew. Similarly, accusing them of doing drugs and drinking while making the album conflicts with them having made an anti-drug sobriety album.

    The problem with your review is not the things you didn’t necessarily like about the album. I get that. The problem was with your pretentious, callous preconceptions before you even put the disc into the CD player.

    I’m fine with you dissing “Otherside” or “Scar Tissue” as trash, but I’m not okay with you believing that just because the band members’ identities as white males who happen to have had sex and done drugs (and were clean during the recording of this album) somehow invalidates their music. If you’re going to bring that up in a review, that’s fine, but please know what the hell you’re talking about. Read the Wikipedia article about the Chilis if you’re too tired to pick up Kiedis’s autobiography. Otherwise you come out sounding like a gasbag.

    Oh, by the way (no pun intended, but go listen to that album), you mentioned that Nick Cave quote up above. Here’s bassist Flea’s response to that. hub.contactmusic.com/red-hot-chili-peppers/news/chili-pepper-hurt-by-caves-opinion_24_05_2006

    And in a more recent interview, he still held Cave in high esteem without even mentioning that comment. That shows just how mature these frat boys are.

  32. Hoss says:

    Okay, so here’s a better metaphor: Ronald Reagan came up with his conservative policies after reading “The Communist Manifesto.” Therefore he’s communist.

    I don’t know why I’m even talking to you. I gave you a fair shake despite the fact that you believe that Kiedis’s lyrics are trash (even though he rhymes “funky” with “junkie” on a much more recent album on a song that is intended to not make any sense), Flea’s slap popping is shit (even if his basslines are minimalist) and the album cover is meaningless.

    The cover art, by the way (pun intended this time) represents a “Parallel Universe”, where two iconic symbols we associate with a summer day – a sky and a pool – are interchanged. It shows that the further and further we buy into this smokescreen of Hollywood and glamour and money, we lose touch with what is real and fake. If we are told that the only way to be happy is to be muscular and good-looking, we distort the images in our own lives and we lose focus of what is truly meaningful in our lives. Hollywood proliferates and fornicates, if you will, these images and causes us to disparage things that don’t fit some ideal. Whether you own a cheap phone, whether you’re fat, whether you’re content listening to non-mainstream bands, Hollywood tells you that if you don’t buy into what is popular, you’ll be ostracized. Hence the pool and the sky, beautiful entities of a perfect day, become interchanged and blurred when we are told to disregard things that we already find beautiful to reach this unattainable ideal of being what others want us to be.

    If that didn’t make sense to you, fine, whatever, please find fault with my Marx reference and move on with your life. You can like your music, I can like mine, we can be happy in different worlds. I’m sorry that my critique of your review was a waste of words and I continue to respect your opinions.

    • Mike says:

      I don’t know why you’re talking to us either. No amount of numbnuts’ faux-intellectualising on four year old blog posts is going to convince me that the Red Hot Chili Peppers aren’t completely shit.

  33. For some half-remembered reason I entered the search terms “Am I the only one who thinks the Red Hot Chili Peppers are crap?”, whereupon I discovered your blog. Thank God you’re here! I’ll take a look around the site and get back to you!

  34. Daniel says:

    god, it’s shite like this that reminds me exactly why I don’t spend time on the Internet if I can help it, I could make the exact same case about Nirvana or the Beatles for crying out loud. You don’t get laid often do you Mikey boy

    • Mike says:

      NEWSFLASH: guy that likes pedestrian, outdated and predictable music finds the internet difficult and challenging.

      You’ve got me on the getting laid front though: I’d gladly go for the rest of my life without having sex if it meant that I never had to hear another Anthony Keides kindergarten level poetry musical abomination. Comparing the Chilis to Nirvana and the Beatles is a bit like comparing a crudely drawn penis on a McDonalds napkin to a Picasso though, don’t you think?

  35. Connor says:

    The book Animal Farm had rather simple words and phrases. It reads like a children’s book. And yet it is a classic piece of literature. There’s more to the story than the words on the paper, just like there’s more to most of the RHCP songs than their lyrics. Californication is an album with more than basic white people songs about basic white people problems. And also Flea is widely regarded as one of the best bassists in the industry, say what you’d like about his style but you can’t ignore his talent.

  36. Fucker says:

    After looking through your website, I can understand why you hate RHCP. You guys seem to be a website all about metal and hip-hop, so why not review those instead of things you hate? It would make a lot more sense to review an album that you like rather than an album that has become legendary throughout the years.

  37. Adam says:

    Wow, you’re an asshole. Like holy shit Mike, you’re a true, real-deal, bona fide prick. Props to you for that, not many people can pull it off.

    I guess it’s true that we can all have our own opinions, so don’t misunderstand me, I know that you’re entitled to your own thoughts. It’s just that in this case, your opinion is wrong. Plain and simple. You’re fucking wrong about the Peppers.

  38. David says:

    “Californication” came out the same year as Mr. Bungle’s “California,” which is far superior

  39. David says:

    Chili Peppers bore the fuck out of me

  40. SerNilrem says:

    I don’t know Mike, I don’t have a problem with you having freedom to express your opinions, and you don’t seem to reject anyone else’s freedom of opinion, so I respect you for that. The immature and useless comments you’re receiving are just stupid and contribute nothing to the argument. In terms of variety though, looking at the Red Hot Chili Peppers over time; they cover quite an impressive musical spectrum. You seem to be quite a critical listener, which I think is great. I am a fan of RHCP, my enthusiasms changes with my mood as it does with all bands. Really what I’m saying is that I think it’s fine for you to express your opinion, but I would suggest that you criticise RHCP a bit more fairly, and is it really necessary to write such a huge article about something you hate? You don’t deserve hate for writing what you’ve written, but just remember to be a bit sensitive to others’ opinions in the expression of your own. And in the end, musical criticism is as subjective as criticisms of any other texts, so can it really be put in boxes of good and bad? (I think yes to an extent, but if someone wants to arge something’s quality, I’m not going to refute their opinion). All that said, I’m glad you listen to music in such a critical way, just remember others may disagree! ;D (though hopefully in an intelligent manner, unlike a lot of the people commenting here. And I apologise for any spelling/punctuation errors. I’m not the most proficient on a phone keyboard :P)

  41. Joe says:

    After looking around your site, I’ve never felt so bad for someones music taste in my life. I am so sorry. My deepest condolences. Its clear that dumb minds think alike

  42. Álvaro says:

    Ok. It’s easy to get it: You really hate the chili peppers.
    My humble opinion, is that, sadly, you are blind cause of your hate, and you are trying to find the mistake or the bad things these guys (barely) have.
    People that HATE the red hot are a so small percentage of the world, that I believe i can make as I didn’t read this subjective and unjustified review.

  43. Sman says:

    I stumbled up on this blog post and found it quite humorous. There was a period in my life 25+ years ago when I found the chili peppers amusing. Dare I even say ground breaking (the whole rap/metal/punk thing was new at the time). When I listen back to it now, it is awful. It is amazing how being a hormonal teenager can warp your senses and cloud your judgment.
    Their “lyrics” are almost like a frat boy “date rape” instruction manual… with such cleaver songs as “Party on your pussy”, “Stone Cold Bush” etc… If my daughter ever brings home a boy in a chili peppers shirt, i’ll run him over in my car.

    • Mike says:

      I hear you. I mean, props to them – they basically invented a new style of music. But that doesn’t mean it still wasn’t hopelessly juvenile and silly.

  44. Sman says:

    It is beyond silly and juvenile. It is misogynistic, and offensive.
    I think they even feel shame over their earlier material now, as apparently they won’ even play anything pre Californication live.
    Californication was supposed to be the album where they “matured” as song writers. But I think it basically ended up being the album that showed everyone how much they sucked, once they stopped hiding behind their shtick (Slap bass, socks on cocks, potty humor lyrics). Anthony stopped rapping, and showed the world know what an awful singer he was. And he also showed what a horrible lyricist he was. The best example of this is the verse at the end of “Around the world” where he just gives up and starts making up words and sounds… Ding Dong de ding blah blah…
    They are so bad that Frusciante couldn’t even play with them anymore, and quit for a 2nd time!!!
    Anyway… enough about the peppers. They have sold way more records than me. So what do I know 🙂
    BTW, congratulations for having a blog post that has pissed so many RHCP fans off that it has kept them posting on it for almost 5 years now! Nice work.
    I won’t post anything else about them now.

  45. Carli says:

    OK so I am a little younger than most people but almost every person I know loves that album,just saying.

    • Mike says:

      Why would young people be listening to this sad old-bastard music? The Chili’s were already lame 20 years ago when I was a teenager. Go listen to some new music!

  46. Katharine says:


  47. David E Fuckyourself says:

    Whilst I respect your right to have an opinion, your opinions are shit.

  48. Matthew says:

    Wow, read your article.

    Okay Mike, MusicHype Product Manager, what makes you so angry about a more than fifteen year old album that you have to write a scathing review about it now? Its boring? So what.
    While it’s great that you dug up a 15 something year old album to talk shit about it, is that really all you have to contribute?

    Good Lord, pretentious people…

    • Mike says:

      The same compulsion that would have you reading a five year old blog post about a fifteen year old album? Are you a bit thick or something?

      • Mike says:

        Its amazing the amount of comments that i get on here that are along the lines of “it came out ages ago, why do you even care?”. So why are you posing a comment then if it doesn’t matter? Why bother? Do you honestly not understand how the internet works or something?

        What is pretentious about writing a bad review about a shitty album? Show me the last article you wrote that got as much attention as this, douchebag.

        Fuck off back to your frat house, numbnuts.

  49. Nameless says:

    Now I’m not usually one to get defensive over something but your article seriously made me want to bash my skull in. Around the World and Scar Tissue sound nothing alike, none of the songs really sound all that similar and Californication is about Hollywood and society. I bet you only listen to shit like 5SOS 1D JB MCR etc or have no ears at all

  50. Miroslav says:

    You’re a hack whos bias couldn’t be any more blatant or self-referentially douchey even if you wanted it to be. Get a life. And word of advice when you want to nonsensically hate something you know nothing about: next time, do some research on said topic.

    • Mike says:

      Since when did blog posts have to be unbiased? This is a post about how I personally think the Red Hot Chili Peppers are completely shithouse. This isn’t the 6 O’clock news mate. Are you new to the internet or something?

  51. BassSloth says:

    Whether RHCP suck the big hairy one may be disputed. Me, I used to like them (Blood Sugar Sex Magic is not an entirely bad album… if you try hard enough to disregard the lyrics), then got bored, then got bored to fucking death. Many people like them, many musicians are inspired by them, let them be, I say.

    As for slap bass – well, here is when I feel the burning need to argue (this is the internet, the place where I MUST PROVE I’M RIGHT, right?). From Larry Graham’s funky thumpin’ to Les Claypool’s whacky whackin’, slapping is downright awesome. Of course it has its place and when it’s overdone (and it has been, a lot – e.g. by me some 15-20 years ago) it can get as much as embarassing but overall it’s very nice. And if some rock orthodoxes still think it’s uncool – I’m fine with that. I’m generally fine with being an uncool guy doing uncool things, like driving a ’92 Volvo wagon (which I do – and I absolutely love it), wearing long hair at the age of 37 (which I also do), listening to early 80s bands (which I do, a lot) and, of course, slapping the bass (which… you get the pattern, don’t you).


    • Mike says:

      A well thought out, nicely written and grammatically accurate response! Thank you – you are a breath of fresh air on this thread, believe me.

      • BassSloth says:

        Wow, I’m kind of surprised – as a non-native English speaker (I’m a Pole, hopefully not too stiff… yes, I do love bad puns, sorry) who let his English rust quite a bit since dropping out of university I was a bit worried about grammatical accuracy of my rambling response 😉

        • Mike says:


          Nah your response was great, I get some awful shite on here. I don’t mind when people disagree with me as long as it’s well reasoned. The majority of responses on here are just “You suck and you’re wrong!!!”.

          For instance I’m willing to concede that not all slap bass is awful. I listen to a lot of early 90s gangsta rap and there’s funk bass all through that stuff and I love it. I’m just not really a fan of it in rock music is all. My main issue with the Chilis is just that I find their songwriting really really weak for how popular they are.

          • BassSloth says:

            I’m afraid that if I’m to be 100% honest I’ll have to say I hate gangsta rap. I dislike rap and hip-hop in general (with very few notable exceptions) but gangsta is what I really really loathe. But well, to each their own. I guess you’re not much of a prog-rock fan while I’d be perfectly happy listening to nothing but Porcupine Tree and King Crimson all day long (no Yes though, please).

            Slapping in rock? Well, Primus is a good example. But yes, it’s hard to make it sound good in a rock band so it’s best used very sparingly. When a song has an 80s feel or a funky groove to it – why not. “Panic Station” by Muse is a lovely example, the bassline is tasty as fuck! Me, I admit – I was guilty of overusing it back in the day, now I really think twice before sticking out my thumb when I play with a rock band. Fortunately, there’s one thing I love more (and I mean much more) than slapping, and it’s also considered uncool: fretless bass! Give me a ballad with a relaxed, melodic bassline and I’ll be more than happy to play long singing notes with that lovely “mwah” only a nice fretless can produce.

            Yes, I’m a child of the 80s, can’t help it.

          • Mike says:

            See, I can’t stand any of that stuff – it’s all musicianship over songwriting which is not what I’m into at all. Sounds like we’re coming at things from the exact opposite ends of the rock spectrum.

            Don’t mind fretless bass though.

          • BassSlotu says:

            I disagree about singwriting. Both Robert Fripp (King Crimson) and Steven Wilson (Porcupine Tree) are fantastic songwriters. Of course Fripp’s ideas are far removed from the traditional understanding of what the word “song” means but I wouldn’t call him a bad songwriter (try to listen to some of the “Red” album – apart from KC’s experimentations it truly fucking rocks, even such a self-important wanker as R. Christgau enjoyed it). Steven Wilson, on the other hand, simply knows how to write a great beautiful song. Yes, his music is still prog – long, multi-piece compositions and all that stuff – but it’s perfectly listenable and completely devoid of musical masturbation. Check out such songs as Trains or Heart Attack In A Layby. Especially the latter is surprisingly simple from a performer’s standpoint but the composition! The melody! The haunting beauty I look for in music (and prog rock delivers in abundance)! If it’s not stellar songwriting I don’t know what is.

          • BassSloth says:

            Damn, typing on a smartphone sucks as much as Californication. I even misspelled my nickname.

          • Mike says:

            Sounds interesting – will check out that King Crimson album and the two tracks you mentioned.

            I’d recommend some gangsta rap for you to listen to to convert you but I really don’t think there’s any one track/artist that would convince anyone that wasn’t already into it.

            Kanye West samples King Crimson pretty heavily here though: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L53gjP-TtGE

          • BassSloth says:

            I’ve listened to it.

            NO. Everything by Kanye West I’ve ever heard was unlistenable to me and this is no exception. My ears bleed. I need to listen to some Japan now, Mick Karn’s fretless bass magic will speed up the healing process.

            As for Porcupine Tree – I recommend the songs “Sound of Muzak” and “Time Flies”. If you’re after good songwriting with a chorus you can happily sing along to, those are as good as it gets. Prog-rock doesn’t neccessarily mean 10-minute solo wank-o-rama (of course unless you identify Dream Theater with the whole genre).

  52. Josh says:

    Hands down the greatest album of all time.

  53. Denis says:

    Nobody here has yet mentioned that Californication was one of the worst culprits of the Loudness War.

    The compression, clipping and distortion on this album is just beyond horrible.


  54. rustybutterknife says:

    Well if you like “Californication”, You will love the new “The Getaway) album. in stores (and soon the discount bin) everywhere. look for a copy of Metallica’s “St. Anger” while you’re digging through there…

  55. Blake says:

    You could have just said you found the album displeasing to listen to.

    Instead, you perch yourself on a high horse and make facile comments and unfounded criticisms from a position of ignorance and superiority.

    Judging from your “Beers, surfers” criticism of the cover, it is clear your perception of this band as nothing more than surf bros has rendered you incapable of looking into the background of this album, or the surrounding context, as any person with half a brain who opted to review an album would do.

    If you had bothered to exercise even a fraction of insight, you would understand that the subject matter, particularly the drug references, were incredibly relevant, as John Frusciante had just rejoined the band after a drug-addiction that nearly killed him. You would also be able to appreciate the simplistic and minimalist style of guitar playing, based on the fact that he had to relearn the guitar after his absence and was not technically competent at this point. You would also have been able to educate yourself on the meaning of the song Californication, beyond your reductive and inaccurate assertion that it was about drugs.

    In fact, your entire review looks like the infantile whining of a half-wit who reviewed the album of a band he already loathed, just so he could fire cheap insults at them. Why bother?

    You haven’t explored the album in-depth, or provided worthwhile criticisms beyond ‘I don’t like it, RHCP suck’.

    Perhaps try to expand your ability for critical thought and analysis before you write another review, because your writing style and intellectual capacity leave a lot to be desired.

    • Adrian says:

      Either way, Mike just seems to be the kind of guy who doesn’t really his research when covering an album. Rather than understand the subject matter, he just resorts to intellectual laziness and mistakes the complexity of the album for misogyny and being sexist.

  56. Ross says:

    Yo man i dont gotta be gramatically correct. This is the way i talk, and the chili peppers kick ass in this album. There is a lot of soul in their music and frusciante, flea, keidis, smith, theyre all great. Some of the songs in this album are amazing. Parallel universe, and even porcelain: a sad yet emotionally striking song. Great album piss off with this one of the worst albums nonsense.

    • Mike says:

      Ok I’ll rephrase for you:

      Yo man this album is sux bro you cant even lift to it i dont evn care what u say this album is shit mate get a life

  57. Travis says:

    Idk how you think RHCP suck there one of the greatest bands of all time. And californicaction is one of there best albums with some of there best and most famous songs. If you don’t like RHCP than don’t listen to them. And if the RHCP suck so much than why are they still together after 33 years and still making great music? And btw slap bass has always been cool

  58. Jack says:

    I love the passion of RHCP fans. I mean maybe that’s it – you have to be a certain type of person to really appreciate the true appeal. & while some of these tirades are quite awful I find true RHCP fans to be good hearted people who respond to the lighter nature of the music.

    I’m sorry you aren’t a fan but at least you get joy from other acts. I think I’ve met ‘you’ before in different people. ie. You probably think RATM are great yet if you listen to the song Blood Sugar Sex Magik it’s kind of the original Rage song – a blueprint released a year before RATM emerged. But you obviously just prefer music rappier and harder hitting. Totally understandable. Well appreciate some people prefer more melodic slower music & RHCP do that better than most. I mean, what is there to even compare it to anymore.

    At the end of the day your opinion is just one & it’s nice to see the passion of RHCP fans.

    I love the Getaway. It’s become my 2nd favourite RHCP album behind Blood Sugar. Does that mean there’s something wrong with me? Na, it just means I like that album. It’s REALLY slow, but I enjoyed the melodies that emerged with each listen. But tbh I don’t like analysing music. Either I like it or I don’t like it. I’m allowed to like it just like you’re allowed to shit on them all you want.

    But why aren’t you instead writing about things you like. Are there not enough cynical a’holes in the world? Do you prefer annoying people? That’s probably why your personality type doesn’t fit in with their music.

  59. Nathaniel Pillar says:

    The section in which you resort to criticising the cover art is pointless. The same arguments could be made about any album art. It doesn’t have to be any more than a random image, or no image at all. It simply doesn’t matter. It’s often unrelated to the music entirely.

  60. Brock says:

    First of all, your complaint about the red hot chili peppers sounding exactly the same is a bad argument. Most of the songs on the album are actually very distinct from each other if you listen for more than 2 seconds, which appears to be what you’ve done. However, even if their songs do sound a lot like each other… thats not monotonous, thats called having a style. Every band has a style. Foo fighters have a style. Train have a style. And having a style means some of your songs are going to sound similar.

    Secondly, on your complaints about the monotonous use of drugs as a subject of songs. These are a bunch of guys that have dealt their whole life with drugs and addiction, so you’d imagine it’d be a pretty prevalent part of their lives. Now, is it their fault that they got themselves addicted to drugs in the first place? Possibly. But having never been addicted to drugs, I’d say it’s neither mine or yours to say what it means to them.

    Thirdly, I noticed how, when describing the non-insightfulness of the lyrics on the album, you skipped over the song easily. This song easily has the most insightful lyrics on the album, although seeing your other analysations of lyrics leads me you’ll take them too literally.

    Chorus of Easily:
    Story of a woman on the morning of a war
    Remind if you will exactly what we’re fighting for
    Throw me to the wolves because there’s order in the pack
    Throw me to the sky because I know I’m coming back

    At first it seems like he may be singing about a literal war, which is good enough on its own. However, I believe he is talking about an argument within a relationship, specifically one where you forget what started the argument in the first place.
    “Throw me to the wolves because there’s order in the pack” is my favourite of them all however, because it’s symbolic of wanting order rather than a messy situation, even if the consequences are heavily negative.

    Overall, it was always going to be impossible to come up with an offense on one of the most successful rock bands of all time by cherrypicking the worst parts, most of which arent even that bad when you look deeper than your literal analysis.

  61. joe wichman says:

    I agréé. Its thé chili peppers weakest album. I think most of its success dépends upon the tokenism of Frusciante’s return from thé dead. However, I consider myself a huge fan of their previous work. They began at a time when synth pop was at its zénith and they tore it all down by playing réal instruments. I consider them true inovators, a séminal act of their times. I’m not sûre how you can judge them as ‘frat boys’. I find them thé antithesis of this. Especially Frusciante. I sée him as a true original and am hard pressed to compare anyone in this respect in thé pop lexicon.

  62. Samuel Costa says:

    it’s funny that Mike only replies the comments that he can argue.

    and I’m not saying that he must like the band, but the guys deserve their credits, they’re a hard working band.

  63. Very disapointed music fan says:

    hello Mike! I dont know how I ended up in your blog but I read your opinion about the RHCP and I got pretty dissapointed… you look like a smart guy but you I think you totally f***ed up when you gave your reasons to dislike the RHCP and their work. I also read the comments, most of them actually, and when you aswered a comment you said something like “…WHEN SOMEONE ELSE’S TASTE DOESN’T MATCH UP WITH YOURS.”, well obviouslly RHCP is not in included in your music taste but that doesnt mean that the band is bad, that their lyrics are silly, or that the way that they play is not cool and some other shit that you listed along your post. They might not be mainstream like some bands but they still being one of the most successful bands in the rock history, and no matter how big is your deal with them this still being truth.

    • Mike says:

      Lol in what universe are the Chili’s not mainstream? They might’ve been counter-culture once, but these days it doesn’t get much more mainstream and boring than the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Fuck Chili’s fans are fucking morons.

  64. Very disapointed music fan says:

    Oh and one more thing, stop using people gramatical mistakes as a argument to the negative comments about your post, it sucks for you.

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