Red Hot Chili Peppers Show No Age With "I'm With You"
After a two-year hiatus and five years since the last album release, the band has had time to refresh (Flea studied music theory at the University of Southern California) and regroup (guitarist John Frusciante left again and was replaced by Josh Klinghoffer), while sticking with their roots.
The new album, “I’m With You”, opens with “Monarchy of Roses”, which starts off gritty and tough with grinding guitar riffs, but sells a little short and leaves the listener wanting more from the disco-rock sound.
“The Adventures of Rain Dance Maggie” is a funky track with soul and badass style where Anthony Kiedis sings “ Little did I know/her body was one/delicious vinyl/to your neck of the woods/I want to lick a little bit”.
Later in the album, “Happiness Loves Company” opens up with a bouncy beat and relentless piano evocative of some 1960’s Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band tracks.
Klinghoffer puts more emphasis on riffs and melodies than guitar solos, and it is evident that he has toured with the band before.
In contrast, “Brendan’s Death Song”, a tribute to their close friend and L.A. club owner Brendan Mullen, evokes heavy emotion but is also a tranquil send off. “I love you, you are the lucid dream you are the ride and when you/hear this you know it’s your jam you know it’s your goodbye”. The song has great potential for a live act and includes musical build-up that satisfies throughout.
“Look Around” highlights the album and is begging to be performed live. With Kiedis rapping lines such as “Custom love is the nomenclature/turn down mass confusion/hit the road because we just keep cruisin’” you can’t help but be reminiscent of the “Suck My Kiss” and “Give It Away” days, although they could have omitted the handclapping.
Once again, these punk rock veterans have proved their aptitude. Signature raps and funky pulses coupled with the fresh Afro-beats and piano sounds of “I’m With You” help maintain the long-loved music of the Chili Peppers while updating their sound. This album is sure to please loyal fans and new listeners alike.
Editor's note: the lyrics to "The Adventures of Rain Dance Maggie" have been corrected.
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