Red Hot Chili Peppers – I’m With You

Release date: August 26, 2011
Label: Warner Bros.

Tracklist

  1. Monarchy of Roses [MV]
  2. Factory of Faith
  3. Brendan’s Death Song [MV]
  4. Ethiopia
  5. Annie Wants A Baby
  6. Look Around [MV]
  7. The Adventures of Rain Dance Maggie [MV]
  8. Did I Let You Know (This I Know) [MV]
  9. Goodbye Hooray
  10. Happiness Loves Company
  11. Police Station
  12. Even You Brutus?
  13. Meet Me At The Corner
  14. Dance, Dance, Dance

“This album has been one of evolution. Before, some of our jams were a bit hit-and-miss. On this record, a decent number of songs were actually thought out and planned in a way we had never done before. That is, with Flea’s new knowledge of music theory, we explored the writing process with a bit more precision.”

Red Hot Chili Peppers have lasted together for 28 years and now they’re unleashing their 10th studio album I’m With You, whose theme is about life and death. However, John Frusciante departed the band for the second time. He’s now being replaced by Josh Klinghoffer, a close friend of Frusciante and the band who has jammed previously with Gnarls Barkley, Beck, PJ Harvey, The Butthole Surfers and with Frusciante himself. The biggest question for me before listening to I’m With You was how would the Peppers fare with their new guitarist.

As far as Josh Klinghoffer goes, he’s actually a good guitarist on his own account. He shines better on songs such as Brendan’s Death Song, Ethopia and Did I Let You Know. But listening to the album a few times made me feel that there’s definitely a hole in the band with Frusciante’s departure. The lead guitar in I’m With You doesn’t feel inventive and/or flashy by any means, which was something you could feel in previous songs from the Peppers when Frusciante played. Case in point, a good portion of the songs rely on Flea’s skills, who is still going strong in what he does as a musician.

Despite the changes in the band, the Peppers can still pack songs that are worth the listen, ranging from rock songs with a funk touch, party songs, piano rock songs and rock ballads.

Brendan’s Death Song — a tribute song to friend Brendan Mullen who passed away on the same day Klinghoffer joined the band in 2009 — is by far the most poignant song of the album. You can feel the pain on Kiedis’ vocals, who mourns the loss of the band’s friend. Prior to his death, Brendan was working on the band’s autobiography and he was one of the first people to give the Peppers a chance to showcase their talents. Brendan’s Death Song is definitely one of the best tracks of the entire album, showing the band at its finest.

As mentioned before, I’m With You also packs party songs and that’s one of the indicators of change in the band along with the piano rock songs (see: Police Station, Even You Brutus?). The band’s first single, The Adventures of Rain Dance Maggie, is an example of the changes RHCP experiments with structure-wise. Better examples of this are Did I Let You Know and Dance, Dance, Dance. Both songs really want to make you dance, the former featuring lovely afrobeats with an island feeling while the latter is a very relaxing, happy song that ends the album on a good note and feels U2-like to me.

In the end, there is still life left in Red Hot Chili Peppers thanks in great part to Anthony Kiedis and Flea. But I’m With You lacks the edge that their last three albums had, despite being a good album.

Best tracks: Brendan’s Death Song and Did I Let You Know (This I Know)

Rating: ★★★¼☆ 

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Rodrigo

YAM Magazine contributor, has a B. Sc. degree in Science/Pharmacy and is a very lazy person.

9 Responses

  1. amy says:

    I think the edge had a lot to do with Frusciante. I know we talked about Stadium Arcadium, and that we agreed that if it had been one album instead of a double-disc, that it would’ve worked better.

    I felt I’m With You lacked a lot of energy, even if it talks about more meaningful things – I mean, compare the subject matter to something like Hump de Bump LOL. I think, perhaps, album No. 10 is a little too late to be changing…

  2. Dan says:

    I think the change in lead guitarist will harm them. I think Frusciante’s influence was pretty big – perhaps the biggest reason why I like the Red Hot CP’s. I’ve heard The Adventures of Rain Dance Maggie live and wasn’t very impressed. Maybe the rest of the album will be an improvement.

    • Rodrigo says:

      @Dan, Their recent album does include some good tracks, but Frusciante being absent is very easy to notice. I’ll see them live in two days, but I dunno how many tracks of the new album they’ll play other than Rain Dance Maggie.

  1. August 17, 2014

    […] Anyways, the lyric video directed by Colin Tilley — who also directed the official music video, which will be released in 3 days — includes plenty of close-ups of derrieres, obviously, including the rapper’s own featured on the cover art for the single. Additionally, it includes Minaj rapping the lyrics as vintage-looking fonts and animations, straight out of the late 80′s and early 90′s, splash across the screen. Those retro visuals looked interesting in spite of the song’s eye-rolling, fast-paced, dick-and-ass-themed lyrics. And I gotta hand it to Tilley for not including a fly near that red and white capsule because that would have otherwise triggered a lawsuit from Red Hot Chili Peppers [see: album cover for I'm With You]. […]

  2. September 26, 2014

    […] setlist was solid — balancing their biggest hits, songs from I’m With You and other songs. If You Have to Ask was a pleasure to hear live and the percussion solo to set up […]

  3. May 9, 2015

    […] The visit of the funk-rock mega band Red Hot Chili Peppers here in Sweden was quite a dramatic one. The band played two shows at the Ericsson Globe arena in Stockholm, and not many of the seats stood empty when the band played classic songs like Give it Away and Otherside as well as songs from their latest album, I’m With You. […]

  4. June 17, 2016

    […] When Red Hot Chili Peppers released the audio for Dark Necessities last month, frontman Anthony Kiedis suffered from an intestinal flu. He’s in better health now, and the band has released on Facebook the music video for the first single from their eleventh studio album The Getaway, the follow-up to the band’s 2011 album I’m With You. […]

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