1996/01 Stereo Review

Many thanks to Hamish at RHCP Sessions for the scan .


One Hot Minute. ARNER BROS. 45733 (61 min).

Performances: Incendiary

Recording; Super

The latest guitarist to pass through that revolving-door position with the Red Hot Chili Peppers is Dave Navarro, formerly of Jane’s Addiction. Making his debut in “One Hot Minute,” he brings more substance to the band than anyone since the late Hillel Slovak. This just might be the Chili Peppers’ finest hour, an album of unsettled moods running hot and cold, earthy and transcendent, sex-mad and meditative, funky and poppy, airy and hard. The eclecticism recalls the glory days of Parliament-Funkadelic in that the Chili Peppers mix it up without ever straying too far from the groove.

Navarro takes to his role like an equal fourth member, pulling the others toward his stylistic preferences (he is decidedly not a funkmeister by nature) as much as they pull him toward theirs. This true spirit of collaboration has broadened the Chili Peppers’ palette considerably, from the infectious lggy Pop-style punk racket of Coffee Shop to the hypnotic recitative of Walkabout, a coolly rational exhortation to leave the rat race. Singer Anthony Kiedis and bassist Flea revisit their chemically fueled youth in Deep Kick, casting themselves as a contemporary Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn on the lam in San Francisco. They under-stand what made them tick then and what does now. Without getting preachy about it. the Chili Peppers use “One Hot Minute” to pledge their allegiance to music, the only addiction worth living for. And to that end they offer up a poppy hymn of celebration, Aeroplane, that glides along on a good vibration worthy of vintage Beach Boys while serving to revive, albeit briefly, the long-dormant California dream. PP.