Red Hot Chili Peppers, "The Getaway" (Warner Bros.)
The Red Hot Chili Peppers' first album in five years, "The Getaway," is a melancholy set, even when the rhythms accelerate.
Danger Mouse (Brian Burton) sits in for Rick Rubin in the producer's chair, bringing more keyboards than usual to the mix. The Peppers' traits are still present, from mentions of California and Flea's deft bass lines to Anthony Keidis' percussive lyrics and staccato vocals.
The opening arpeggio on "The Longest Wave" may have you thinking John Frusciante is back, but "new" guitarist Josh Klinghoffer (he's been in the band for nearly a decade) ably acquits himself throughout. However, he's less distinctive than his predecessor.
On the sunnier side, Elton John's piano enhances "Sick Love," which borrows some of its melody from his "Bennie and the Jets," while "Dark Necessities," the album's first single, could be late-'80s Duran Duran and "Go Robot" is RHCP in Nile Rodgers/Daft Punk territory.
Some muscular tunes arrive toward the end — a Hendrix-like guitar riff animates "Detroit," which mentions city sons The Stooges, Funkadelic, J Dilla and Henry Ford, while gentler interludes offer a respite on the driven "This Ticonderoga."
The Red Hot Chili Peppers take some chances and hold their own on "The Getaway," but even in rock 'n' roll, time gets away.