Red Hot Chili Peppers: Anthony Kiedis (vocals); Dave Navarro (guitar); Flea (bass); Chad Smith (drums).
Additional personnel: Baby Gabriel James Navarro (vocals); Tree (violin); John Lurie (harmonica); Stephen Perkins, Lenny Castro (percussion); Kristen Vigard, Aimee Echo, Gurmukh Kaur Khalsa, Clara Balzary, Bailey Reise, Askia Ndegeocello, Nadia Wehbe, Sarabeth Kelly, Matthew Kelly, Phillip Greenspan, Perry Greenspan, Veronica Twigg, Remy Greeno, Jaclyn Dimaggio, Hayley Oakes, Nikolai Giefer, Taiana Giefer, Nina Rothburg, Sheera Ehrig, Jade Chacon (background vocals).
Like the legendary Spinal Tap's inability to hold onto a drummer, the Red Hot Chili Peppers have grappled with a revolving guitarist problem since the 1988 death of Hillel Slovak. Former Jane's Addiction axe-man Dave Navarro climbs aboard the Chili Pepper Express for ONE HOT MINUTE, which also marks the return of Rick Rubin to the production helm.
Navarro's arrival coincides with a more experimental approach by the group.
The transformations don't so much alter the funk-based sound of the band as they strain it through an ethereal colander of radical time changes. "Warped," the first single and leadoff cut, demonstrates this with a balls-to-the-wall adrenaline rush that abruptly concludes with a gentle outro. Other variations on the trademark punk-funk sound include a children's chorus on "Aeroplane," a talk box coupled with some mantra-like chanting on "Falling Into Grace," and the Beatlesque marriage of sitar and other strings on "Tearjerker." History gets revisited on "Deep Kick," a hyper-kinetic rap by Anthony Kiedis about the band's origins that gives way to Flea's ruminations on kicking around with the Butthole Surfers.
While the house-party chants of "One Big Mob" and the Eddie Hazel-inspired sass of "Walkabout" lean towards the Chili Peppers' penchant for not faking the funk, "Transcending" truly gauges the band's musical maturation. Inspired by Flea's friendship with the late River Phoenix, the song starts as a reminiscence about Phoenix's intellect and gentleness over a bed of clean, up-tempo guitar, before dropping into a maelstrom of raging feedback fueled by anguish.
Rolling Stone (10/5/95, p.67) - 3.5 Stars - Good Plus - "...Now their belief in the power of jamming, innovation and spontaneity is fully unleashed....After a 10 plus-year career, they're realizing their potential at last..."
Spin (12/95, p.63) - Ranked #18 on Spin's list of the `20 Best Albums Of '95.'
Spin (11/95, p.119) - 7 - Flawed Yet Worthy - "...finds them venturing further down pop's path, sculpting their hyperactive musicianship into denser, more pointed soundscapes--the kind of alternately loopy and ferocious din that will make them a welcome island between Stone Temple Pilots and the Spin Doctors..."
Entertainment Weekly (9/22/95, pp.76-77) - "...ONE HOT MINUTE wails and flails like a mosh-pit workout tape, but it also has moments of outright subtlety and maturity..." - Rating: B+
Q (2/96, p.67) - Included in Q's 50 Best Albums of 1995
Q (10/95, p.118) - 4 Stars - Excellent - "...their potential for some impressive noise making has never been greater. ONE HOT MINUTE, although unlikely to deliver any waverers to their cause, proves that there's still penty of life left in the old routine yet..."
NME (Magazine) (9/9/95, p.48) - 6 (out of 10) - "...half...the biggest adolescent f--- off metal-punk-sheer-bloody-racket LP of [their] entire lives...the other half a grown-up's paean to music/love as an all-conquering superforce..."