Tuesday, January 31, 2012

I'm With You by Red Hot Chili Peppers

I'm With You by Red Hot Chili Peppers

Multi-platinum, Grammy Award-winning rock band Red Hot Chili Peppers will release their upcoming tenth studio album, I'm With You, on Warner Bros. Records on August 30th, 2011. Recorded at East West In Los Angeles and Shangri-la in Malibu, CA, I'm With You was produced by Rick Rubin, who has produced the band's previous five albums, 2006's Stadium Arcadium, 2002's By The Way, 1999's Californication, 1995's One Hot Minute, and 1991's Blood Sugar Sex Magik. The album was mixed by Andrew Scheps and Greg Fidelman.

I'm With You is the band's first new album since the two-set Stadium Arcadium.
So here we are again. After an extended Hiatus and the loss of a pivotal band member the Chilis have released their 10th studio effort following the behemoth that was "Stadium Arcadium". Is it good? The short answer is yes. If you want to listen to some new Chilis songs and are on the fence about this one then hop off and go buy it!. To the rest of you, let me tell you why it rocks through the power of story:

I have always been a huge Chilis fan. I have been an even bigger John Frusciante fan. From the first time I heard him play guitar when I was a kid, to watching him live on stage standing two feet away while he played under the bridge, I have loved the man. He's the reason I picked up a guitar for the first time and has been a consistently huge influence on my life.

So the first time he left the band I was devastated, when Dave Navarro took over I disowned the Chilis and focused on John's solo career. The energy in one hot minute was all wrong; it didn't feel like the Chilis to me. Or maybe it did and I was just too stubborn to see. Either way I couldn't stand that album so I moved on to other artists and music.

Don't get me wrong though I love the other three band members too, it's just without John 'One Hot Minute' just didn't feel right to me. I have friends who agree with me and friends who thing that is their best album to date. Oh well.

When Californication came and with it the return of John I was elated. I listened to that CD until it burned out, then I bought two more. I simply couldn't get enough. The next two were equally as amazing and cemented the Chilis once again as my all time favourite band. I was impatient when they announced a hiatus but could understand it. They had been churning out quality music non stop for years.

The second time they announced John's departure I was understandably bummed out. My flash backs to the Navarro days was something I could not bear. I vowed not to buy the next Chilis album, fearing the inevitable loss of that which made the Chilis great. This of course is their energy, without that they are nothing and I could see no way they could possibly recapture it with John gone.

I was wrong. I bought the album on day one because; despite being a big baby I missed the Chili peppers. That and they are one of the bands that still make good quality music in a world saturated in mainstream crap. I went in with extremely low expectations though. Ready to criticize it fully and completely. The minute the first song began to play I was grinning. I kept grinning, waiting for my disappointment to set in. The grin did not waver, the album ended and I put it on again. I have been listening to it all day, over and over. They did it. It's crazy but they did it! The loss of John can be seen and felt but the rest of the band do a great job and filling the John shaped hole in my heart :P

Flea is astounding on the bass. There will never be another bassist like this man, he is insane! He steals the show in this album not only on bass but with some amazing piano playing. That's right the piano! He plays it to great effect in "Even You Brutus?" and "Happiness loves company" two brilliant songs late in the album.

Anthony's vocals are amazing as always, full of energy and soul. I had to look up the lyrics and learn these songs as quickly as I could just to sing along with him. There's something about his singing that just makes you feel good. I need to bring in `Even you Brutus' again as a highlight, where he raps. I heard people say he's channeling Eminem and that's true but as always he takes something great and makes it his own. There are other highlights but he shines through the entire album.

Chad's drumming is as solid as always, powerful and consistent. I'm not a drummer and sadly can't go into more detail but Chad exudes an energy that's all his and it fits perfectly with the Chilis.

Josh, ah Josh. I had heard him play before; he collaborated with John on some of John's solo efforts and even composed an entire album with him if I am not mistaken, so I always knew he was good. I just didn't know how good he could be. Josh plays much more methodically and is more subtle that John. But he plays in a way that lets the other three band members shine. You won't hear any insane solos or ripping rhythm here. Please don't let that deter you though, he has his moments and they are amazing. He has a beautiful acoustic song in `Brendan's Death Song' and his guitar stands out in `Look around' Which is delightfully funky and `Meet me at the Corner' where he is truly channeling john.

So down to the nitty gritty is this good? Yes, it is a great album and I highly recommend it.

Do I miss John? Of course, I keep thinking how different this album would be with John, but the album does not suffer without him. Josh is solid and even brilliant at times and while wishing John the best on his career I think the Chilis will do just fine without him.

Is it the Red Hot Chili Peppers? Yes and no. The energy I have brought up several times is here it's just changed to something a bit more sophisticated. It's a lot milder and more deliberate album than past Chilis efforts. It sounds completly diffrent while maintaining there trademark funkyness.


This album will have classics but they will be classic for completely different reasons that Chilis songs of the past were. Using everything they have learned in the past they have brought forth amazing music that they own. It's oozing with their trademark sound, only, in a completely new way.

The album never wavers, each song is just as good as the last it sustains this pace all the way through the cd even having some hidden gems way at the end.

This is the Chilis reborn. They have finished one great era of song writing and moved onto the next. I cannot wait to see where that will take them, but I will be sticking with them for the entire journey. Thanks to the Chilis for making me smile all day and for years to come. I am so glad I could say I was wrong about this album. Commence the eating of the hat!

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