Red Hot Chili Peppers, ‘Monarchy of Roses’ – Song Review
There is something just so danceable in the funk rock that RHCP dole out on ‘I’m With You,’ and ‘Monarchy of Roses’ is no different. It’s the album’s opener and for the most part, it truly is indicative of the overall energy and sound of the record as a cohesive entity.
The song is structured around a tightly wound tension and release formula, so strap yourself in for some ups and downs. The opening verse is anchored by Chad Smith’s thunderous drumming, which rumbles and roars for the first 30 seconds alongside Anthony Kiedis’ distorted vocals.
Kiedis’ voice sounds like it was recorded under water and along with the Smith-enriched rhythmic backbone give the song its strength as the distortion/percussion tandem repeats in multiple verses.
This tension is then relieved by the song’s sonically lighter, airier chorus and Kieidis repetitively singing about “the monarchy of roses.”
Kiedis’ lyrics on this song feel journal-derived and confessional, as he sings, “Several of my best friends wear / The colors of the crown / And Mary wants to build it up / And Sherry wants to tear it all back down / Girl, the savior of your light / The monarchy of roses / The monarchy of roses.” Interpret at will! It sure is pretty and flowery language, even if the meaning is not readily demonstrated.
The song has a real stadium (arcadium) feel to it, as it invites plenty of singalongs with its layers of harmony.
Listen to Red Hot Chili Peppers, ‘Monarchy of Roses’