Lukewarm Chili Peppers

Red Hot Chili Peppers

Stadium Arcadium

Warner Bros.

Two-and-a-half out of five stars

For you and me, self-indulgence might involve Lubriderm, but for the Red Hot Chili Peppers, it means making a double album.

For a band whose idea of self-editing is placing a tube sock over their “chili peppers,” a double-album release shouldn’t come as a shock-the ambitiously titled Stadium Arcadium contains two-plus hours of the Peppers’ signature brand of adult alternative.

Most tragic about Stadium is not the Peppers’ complete abandonment of their original funk-rock sound (except their terrible attempt on “Hump de Bump”), but rather the album’s failed potential.

Stripped down to its best tracks, Stadium could have easily been another Californication-every track sure to be in heavy rotation at every pop hit station across America, for better or worse. Instead, the gems on Stadium are few and far between, hidden between B-sides and forgettable tracks, and each straining the album into a tiring, one-dimensional effort.

Don’t misunderstand-there are some truly terrific tracks on Stadium: “Dani California” is its most penetratingly catchy tune, the title track is beautifully paced and “Slow Cheetah” is a classic Peppers melody, celebrative yet thoughtful.

Reduced and restructured, Stadium could have been a really great album; yet, despite its rave-worthy highlights, as an album, Stadium can only deserve rants.