Red Hot Chili Peppers
I’m With You
Release Date: August 29, 2011
Record Label: Warner Bros. Records
Red Hot Chili Peppers released their tenth studio album, I’m With You, via Warner Bros. Records on August 30th, 2011. Recorded at East West In Los Angeles and Shangri-la in Malibu, CA, I’m With You is produced by Rick Rubin. This is also the first album to feature new guitarist Josh Klinghoffer.
The album opens with the eclectic song “Monarchy of Roses.” The tone of verses is reminiscent of “Warped” from One Hot Minute, but the chorus jumps into something more akin to disco. It’s an interesting song, but the flow seems somewhat clumsy and disjointed.
One of the interesting aspects of the album is the different sounds the band pulled into the production. “Brendan’s Death Song” has an indie-rock sound, while “Did I Let You Know (This I Know)” has an undercurrent of Carribean or African influence. The band then gets into a Beatles vibe with “Happiness Loves Company” and closes with the ambient chill-out song “Dance, Dance, Dance.” It’s an interesting ride and he band pulls it off well.
Chad Smith’s drumming is another notable feature on the album. It sounds like he’s taken a little bit of the Bombastic Meatbats to the table and dishes out some of the best drumming I’ve ever heard on a Chili Peppers album. He’s simply on fire and it’s a real treat to hear it.
Many of the songs on I’m With You sound like they’ve been written to a standard Red Hot Chili Peppers formula used on the past few albums. Songs like “Factory of Faith” begin with a quirky verse coupled with a a grand lush chorus, and then a funky change thrown in at the end of the song. While performed and produced well, the formulaic approaches drags the album down and many of the songs seem to be missing the intangible spark that turn a good tune into a great tune.
I still remember the first time I heard Red Hot Chili Peppers over twenty years ago. A friend played me The Uplift Mofo Party Plan and I was blown away. Time will tell how well I’m With You is received by fans, and how it’s compared to the other albums in the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ body of work. The biggest challenge may be that the music now seems very carefully laid out and the listener is never really challenged. This certainly can’t be described as a bad album, but I’m not entirely convinced it’s the band’s best effort.
- “Monarchy of Roses”
- “Factory of Faith”
- “Brendan’s Death Song”
- “Annie Wants a Baby”
- “Look Around”
- “The Adventures of Rain Dance Maggie”
- “Did I Let You Know (This I Know)”
- “Goodbye Hooray”
- “Happiness Loves Company”
- “Police Station”
- “Even You Brutus?”
- “Meet Me at the Corner”
- “Dance, Dance, Dance”