2007 Best Music Poll Winners


Red Hot Chili Peppers

Releasing a two-disc magnum opus at this late date seems like a naked bid for Serious Artist credibility — and perhaps that’s precisely what last year’s Stadium Arcadium was. Produced by Rick Rubin (the ultimate Serious Artist accessory), the Chili Peppers’ latest does feature its fair share of chops-heavy noodling and cosmic-poet nonsense. (Has anybody figured out what exactly “Dani California” is about yet? What about “Hump De Bump”?) Still, few bands make ambition seem as amiable as these long-running Californicators: Stadium Arcadium might be the most casual-sounding double album ever, and that laid-back charm is part of what led you to select the Red Hots as this year’s Best National Act, a title for which they beat out the Killers, Gnarls Barkley, and Justin Timberlake, among others. In times like these, we need a group of concerned party-starters like the Chili Peppers—a band willing (and able) to rock the world stage without coming off like detached robots. Despite (or maybe because of) their occasional excesses, Anthony Kiedis, John Frusciante, Flea, and Chad Smith have become one of the planet’s biggest bands while hanging onto their collective humanity. Put it this way: If you were throwing a backyard barbecue, who’d you rather have come: Bono or Flea?

— Mikael Wood


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