Red Hot Chili Peppers- I’m with you

Story By: Frank Lopez, Rampage Reporter

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Release date: August 29, 2011

Label: Warner Bros.

Funk/rock group “Red Hot Chili Peppers” has hit the music market with their tenth studio album, I’m With You.

I’m With You was comes five years after the group’s previous album, Stadium Arcadium, which was generally favored by critics and sold over 8 million copies worldwide.

The “Red Hot Chili Peppers” has seen a change in its membership. Lead guitarist John Frusciante left the group in order to pursue his own musical ventures and has been replaced by Josh Klinghoffer, a session guitarist.

“This is a new band. Same name, but it’s a new band,” said drummer Chad Smith.

Very true Mr. Smith, very true. The loss of Frusciante is quite apparent since he drove the heavy funk sound that made the Red Hot Chili peppers exciting to listen to. I’m With You is much mellower and less experimental than any of the previous Chili Pepper albums.

The album opens with “Monarchy of Roses” which starts off with vocalist Anthony Kiedis droning with a distorted voice while thunderous drums and a heavily distorted guitar play in the background.  The song then jumps to a bumbling rhythm of bass, guitar, and drums while Kiedis moans and sustains his notes with his always recognizable voice.

“Factory of Faith” starts off with bassist Michael “Flea” Balzary playing a walking punk/funk fusion bass line while Kiedis sings in his half rapper half rock singer voice. Klinghoffer comes with the support of a scratching guitar and Smith comes with a fast and steady drum beat.

“Brendan’s Death Song” is a simple ballad that combines soft and simple acoustic rhythms with heavier electric sounds. Kiedis provides his strange and almost Dadaist style of poetry, however, it seems that he has grown and matured as a song writer. “Let me live so when it’s time to die even the reaper cries. Let me die so when it’s time to live another son will rise.”

This is not the same lyricist who would go out on stage wearing nothing but a carefully placed sock and sing “Suck My Kiss” in the 90s.

The album did have strong single with the funky and soulful “The Adventures of Rain Dance Maggie”. It did feature an oddly placed cowbell and Klinghoffer’s scratchy guitar sound which appears to be central to his guitar playing.

Clunky piano chords open “Happiness Loves Company” with a marching sound and vocal melodies that sound like some neo -60s pop song. It features backup vocals chanting “bop bapa bapa bop”, a real homage to the pop songs of the early 60s.

“Even You Brutus?” is one of the stronger tracks with a perfect blend of vocal harmonies, sad and atmospheric piano, a steady drum and bass rhythm, and a minimal but smooth guitar work. While this is reminiscent of the Chili Peppers older music, it also showcases the new direction that the band is heading.

The album closes with “Dance, Dance, Dance”, a fun and energetic yet mellow and ethereal song. It is played at a high speed but still feels relaxed and gentle. This seems to be another homage to the 60s where nearly all songs were telling us to dance the night away.

While this album is not as loud, funky, and crazy as their previous albums, The Red Hot Chili Peppers still managed to produce a strong album that is well worth listening to. The Red Hot Chili Peppers are at a new point in their career and I’m With You showcases their new direction. The Chili Peppers may have a new sound, but the elements that made the Chili peppers enjoyable to listen to are still there.

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