“One Hot Minute”

Warner Bros.

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The highly publicized addition of former Jane’s Addiction guitarist Dave Navarro to the Red Hot Chili Peppers makes the L.A. quartet’s sixth studio album hotly awaited but something of a question mark. The result of the new lineup: The hyper-funk hits have turned into more sophisticated jams but still pack enough hollers, grunts and brainless lyrics to remain a frat-party fave.

Working again with producer Rick Rubin, bassist Flea and Navarro make an impressive combo, with Flea’s spontaneity and Navarro’s spacey, cool ebb-and-flow making the music hit innovative yet cohesive heights a la the Beastie Boys. But when the music stumbles into old Chili Pepper territory (think clumsy funk), it feels as awkward as a grown man trying to squeeze into his high school football uniform.

The other problem is singer Anthony Kiedis. He often attempts to sing--really sing --and invariably stumbles. His affected voice is downright embarrassing when he shouts things like “Hey, girl” with a faux street savvy, and no matter what persona he takes on--sensitive ballad singer, cool funkster or anxious ex-punker--he’s always unbelievable. Kiedis is no lyrical giant either (remember “Suck my kiss”?), crooning such lines as “Love and music can save us.”

The addition of Navarro may make this the Chili Peppers’ most versatile album yet, but with Kiedis’ stunted vocals and lyrics in tow, it’s not enough.


Albums are rated on a scale of one star (poor) to four stars (excellent).