With valuable assistance from producer Rick Rubin, the Peppers find just the right blend of punk, funk, and hip-hop. Even with a running time of 74 minutes, this 1991 breakthrough has continuity and cohesion both within and across the 17 cuts. Riding Flea's surging bass, Anthony Kiedis delivers his explicit lyrics with a rapper's flair, extolling the virtues (and outlining the dangers) of sex and drugs. Plaintive ballads such as "Breaking the Girl", "I Could Have Lied", and the hit "Under the Bridge" give the album depth and provide contrast to the raw energy of "Mellowship Slinky in B Major", "Funky Monks", and "Give It Away". Rubin masterfully fuses John Frusciante's raunchy guitar with the irresistible grooves.
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