Red Hot Chili Peppers
Iâ€™m With You
Produced by Rick Rubin
U.S.: CD | MP3
UK: CD | MP3
Release date: August 29, 2011
A lot has happened to the Red Hot Chili Peppers in the last 5 years. Since the release of their last album, 2006â€™s Stadium Arcadium, drummer Chad Smith joined Chickenfoot, bassist Flea went to school, singer Anthony Kiedis grew a moustache, and guitarist John Frusciante left due to â€˜musical differencesâ€™ (why wonâ€™t bands just tell the truth and put out a statement that reads â€“ to paraphrase Friends â€“ â€˜itâ€™s just…we hate that guyâ€™?). Now with Josh Klinghoffer on guitar duty, the Chiliâ€™s have released album number 10, Iâ€™m With You.
As I opened the case I kept repeating to myself, â€œdonâ€™t let me down, donâ€™t let me down…â€
Someone heard me. Loud and clear.
Stadium Arcadium had, apart from a small selection of songs including â€œDani Californiaâ€ and â€œHump de Bump,â€ had very little to revisit. At 28 tracks long, it was too much and a little self-indulgent. Iâ€™m With You includes half its predecessor’s number of tracks and twice the quality.
The one glorious sound throughout is the brilliant bass lines. Flea has been let loose and when he is left to go wild he brings the best out in Kiedis. Kiedis seems to react to Fleaâ€™s bass bump as if challenged to a musical duel and adds his frenzied energy to his vocal delivery and lyrics. â€œFactory Of Faithâ€ and â€œThe Adventures Of Rain Dance Maggieâ€ are fine examples of their intuitive understanding.
Smithâ€™s tenure in Chickenfoot has certainly refreshed him. He is energised and energetic; his crashing, pounding drumming on â€œLook Aroundâ€ sends the chorus soaring.
Klinghoffer brings a whisper of Frusciante, but adds energy and a wealth of working with other artists that maybe Frusciante was lacking in latter years. I adore Fruscianteâ€™s guitar playing, but after hearing Klinghoffer on Iâ€™m With You, in particular â€œBrendanâ€™s Death Songâ€ and the guaranteed to sound amazing live â€œGoodbye Hooray,â€ it was clear a change was needed. And sometimes a change is good.
The sickeningly sweet â€œHappiness Loves Companyâ€ is a bit of a throwaway track and the dreary â€œPolice Stationâ€ brings a lull to the momentum towards the end and Iâ€™m With You never really recovers. However, this is a great debut from the â€˜newâ€™ Red Hot Chili Peppers. My message to the band is, if this is how you mean to go on then Iâ€™m with you.