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4.2 out of 5 stars189
4.2 out of 5 stars
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on 23 August 2011
Here we have The Chilli's seventh studio album.
Produced by Rick Rubin, and showing the return of John Frusciante (replacing the rather temporary but excellent Dave Navarro.. very under-rated on 'one hot minute').
Musically, this is an excellent album. We have a real turbulent mixture of in-your-face rock anthems, and more contemplative sing-alongs.
Given this mix of styles, I feel the album will appeal to both original Chilli Peppers fans - who may prefer the punk attitude of some titles, but it's 'grown-up' enough in other areas to have something for everyone. A substantial number of tracks really makes you feel that you're getting a great slab of music for your money.
Okay... so on to 'sound quality.
The guardian (newspaper) described the album as suffering ''excessive compression and distortion''. The Wikipedia article on 'Loudness Wars' specifically states Californication as an example of compressed poorly recorded music. Oh dear. Many fans I know have hunted down previously released versions of the album which have a chance of sounding good on a half decent stereo system.
If you listen on an ipod or in the car you'll love the music for what it is. Play it through something decent, and you'll be reaching for the 'cd eject' button (if it's a CD!). Playing One Hot Minute directly after this CD shows a laughably HUGE gulf in sound quality.
Such a terrible shame to marr the album in this way. It should be a five star album... Can we have a re-master please???
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on 2 January 2004
It deserves at least 4 1/2 stars, just because perfection does not exist... so I give it 5, because this album is as close to it as can be!
What can be said that has not already been said about the "Peppers"... and this album which is probably their best to date (although I haven't heard much the latest one yet)!
The music has evolved and mature with the guys, remains outside the mainly "sanitised" stuff played on most commercial radios, the musicians are brilliant as ever, Anthony's voice as great as ever... but most of all, the lyrics! This guy is a genius, a great genius with poetry!
On the par with the great Jim Morrison, Anthony Keidis is a soulful dreamer who knows how to use the power of words and expresses superb values with depth, or with humour, most of the time with both... and I love the word-games ("Califor-ni-cation" anyone?)
The title song remains my favourite, although it is difficult to talk about "favourite" songs with musicians who have that much talent.
Moments of soulful tenderness like "Porcelain" and "Otherside", rebellion against the bad things of this world like "Californication" and "Around The World", self-searching as "Scar tissue", erotic in "Purple Stain".... humour abound in the whole album, everything is there, emotion in all its shapes and colours, expressed with immense talent...
I discovered the RHCPs with this album and it made me want more, want to get all of their discography... I am still far from the complete collection, but have never been disappointed by the talent of these four guys... they sure know how to entertain, without compromising their obvious love of music!
A bad song on this album?... well I can't think of any!
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on 16 April 2007
Their best yet. Along with Mother's Milk and BSSM, this completes the Holy Trinity of RHCP releases. The last album to truly show their diversity before a more mature, mellower sound came to the fore. Strange that the Amazon reviewer considers 'Purple Stain' and 'Emit Remmus' fillers. I think they fit the track listing just fine, unlike 'BTW' and 'Stadium...', where the fillers started to appear.
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on 6 December 1999
The Chili's always do impress their fans with their typical funky beats and the occational rock balad. This album is not that far from being one of their best yet but it just doesn't have that certain spice that Blood Sugar Sex Magic has. Although you can bop to songs like get on top and around the world, you can also chill to songs like californication and porcelin. I think it is important for bands like the Chili's to keep making great songs and albums because it gives a chance to younger generations to see how great some of todays bands truley are. Forget your Spice Girls, forget your Beatles, forget your Boyzone, the Chili Peppers are by far the greatest band of the past century!!
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on 20 July 2013
Like many reviewers on here, I have picked up on the horrible sound quality that this album contains. I myself am not an audiophile and other albums subject to criticism on "Loudness Wars" such as Oasis' "(What's the Story) Morning Glory?" I have not picked up on. Funny that 3 of the albums on the audiophile "blacklist" are produced by Rick Rubin. Coinkydink? I think not!This however, is just unpleasant to listen to and it actually gave me a headache in the process. Even the softer/mellow songs such as "Otherside" and "Porcelain" sound horribly distorted and fuzzy.

The songs themselves are actually great (I'd had an old download from years ago which was actually nicer to listen to) and the Chili Peppers have made one of their finest records. In fact most of the songs are Chili Pepper classics and have featured heavily in their sets over the years. I would review each song but I think the burning issue here is the horribly compressed album. Hopefully there will be a remastered edition to officially purchase one day. There's an unmastered version floating around the internet but then I'll feel like I've wasted my money. Plus some of the songs have different parts to them e.g Around the World.

4/5 for the music.

1/5 for the production - The only other album I've heard with such bad digital distortion is the 1997 mix of "Raw Power" by Iggy & the Stooges. Luckily there's the 1973 Bowie mix still available.
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on 25 November 2003
I am so glad that when i went to a friends house i picked this album up, this album gave me a whole new aspect on music. Before i'd never even heard of The Red Hot Chili Peppers but i had always known their songs. As soon as the first song, Around The World is on you are wizzed into a fantastic whirl of rock music the catchy lyrics and the high tempo is recognisable in any of these songs. By long and far in my opinion the best songs are Californication and Otherside. Even the slow sloppy ballad of Porcelain still manages you to sing along. As a very dedicated RHCP fan i love all their albums but this is by far the best. I also recommend Blood Sugar Sex Magic and By The Way.
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on 28 May 2002
I find this to be a beautiful emotional spititual album. It has such a mixture of funky tunes and gorgeous flowing songs that its the perfect blend. Songs like Scar Tissue, Otherside and This Velvet Glove, and also Savior, everyone can connect with on some level, personally. Its the perfect album any season, you can listen right through it and love every single on, all the songs are single worthy!You can listen to it in a depressive state, or when your happy and want to chill out. I havnt listened to the 1st two songs on the album much, i start at number 3 and let it run from there, simply because i orginally got it for Scar Tissue, as i found it breathtaking and still do, even though i listen to it all the time and have done for a year. This is an utter ESSENTIAl to have in your collection, and although i have no other chillies records, this one is sufficient for me to say they're one of my favourite bands. The vocals are stunning, Anthonys really amazing, and the instrumental side is just wonderul, they have SUCH talent. if your cruising around amazon, trying to find an album which will last you and you wont tire of, this is it. BUY IT! its amazing and noone should be without a copy! RIGHT?
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on 19 October 2006
I'd never been a huge Chilis fan until I read Scar Tissue and bought a few albums. This is the best of the lot - it's not only got John Frusciante back and Rick Rubin producing, it hasn't got a bad song on it. The problem with Blood Sugar... was its length and too many samey songs and looking at this you might think 15 songs is too much. But the opener Around the World, Parallel Universe, Scar Tissue, the title track and Savior are simply a stunning culmination of the band's talents. Even the annoying Road Trippin' ends up winning you round so you're humming along in the car. It's brilliantly produced and one of the best sounding albums in my collection.
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on 22 November 2004
This is an astonishing album. Full stop. It is absolutely amazing... even if you aren't a fan of The Red Hot Chilis, it is hard not to appreciate the brilliance of this record.
It is very hard to believe that despite the success the band have had across the world, they have yet to achieve a number one album or single here in the UK, and although that is a rather depressive thought, it is obvious that in many of the bands fans, they have no need to. Anyone who can appreciate different types of good music, will realise that this is an album that, regardless of it's highest chart position, will always be remembered.
Californication has a mixture of deep, meaningful songs, including themese such as drug addiction, which Anthony Kiedis wrote from his own experiences, and also many random and humurous tracks.
Stand out tracks clearly are Otherside, Scar Tissue, Californication, and This Velvet Glove(not a single). This is clearly my personal opinion, as many reviewers claim that Parallel Universe and Road Trippin' are of excellence,and although they are great songs(as always by the Chilis) they are not some of their best stuff. Otherside and Scar Tissue show Kiedis's excellent lyrical capability, whereas "I Like Dirt" and "Purple Stain" are more light hearted randomness, as always by the chilis.
I wasn't a huge fan of the band until I heard this album... and since I have been well and truly hooked. I would advice anyone who wants to listen to a great masterpiece to buy this album, and even though I understand how this kind of music isn't everyones cup of tea... It is hard not to enjoy :-)
Thanx for reading!
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on 23 February 2002
I don't award 5 stars very often, but the Red Hot Chili Peppers' jaw-dropping triumph that is Californication more than deserves it. Their seventh studio album, it is also their finest. Scar Tissue, Otherside and This Velvet Glove overflow with superb harmonies and pure emotion, and manage to touch the listener's warmest place. The lyrics are probably the best I have ever heard, and Anthony Kiedis' vocals are not only far improved, but they are exceptional and Kiedis is one of the best rock vocalists around. Returning guitarist John Frusciante unleashes gorgeous streams of guitar work, and on Easily he plays a solo which can literally take your breath away; never have I been so amazed by a guitar solo. Chad beats out clear, funky drumbeats; Flea continues to play brilliant bass guitar work which is key to the album's lush, warm feel but might not be immediately apparent. An extraordinary feature of Californication is the way you notice new things about it every time you hear it; I continue to after two and a half years of listening. And longtime fans won't miss the funk, which if anything is more bouncy than ever, as demonstrated in Around The World, Get On Top and Purple Stain.
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