Album Review: “I’m With You” – RHCP

Artist: Red Hot Chili Peppers
Album: “I’m With You”
Release date: August 29, 2011

It’s the moment Red Hot Chili Peppers fans have been waiting for the past five years.

“I’m With You” is the band’s 10th studio album and certainly brings the funk that previous RHCP albums have brought. It was going to be a challenge to top the critically acclaimed “Stadium Arcadium” from 2006 but I think RHCP did a good job of giving its fans another strong performance.

Each of the core band members stated that this was like a rebirth for the band. “Same name, but this is a new band,” stated Chad Smith, the Will Ferrell look-alike drummer.

Josh Klinghoffer is making his RHCP studio debut with this album and the newer sound he brought to the Chili Peppers is awesome. Seeing this band work on future projects with Klinghoffer should be something fun to anticipate.

Anthony Kiedis sounds phenomenal on this album. He does leave the fans wanting more with a few lyrical weak spots (verses of “Ethiopia” and “Factory of Faith”) but for the most part is very lyrically sound and delivers in typical Kiedis fashion.

The album punches you in the face early with the fantastic, bottom-heavy “Roses of Monarchy.” Bassist Flea makes his presence known throughout the whole album, a must for RHCP as Flea is easily one of today’s greatest bassists.

The first single off the album is “The Adventures of Rain Dance Maggie,” which released at the beginning of August. The song sounds just as if it would have landed on “Stadium Arcadium” as do a few other songs on this album. But the Chili Peppers did a good job of rehashing some of their roots, perfectly mixing it this newer direction they appear to be headed for.

By far the best song off this album is “Did I Let You Know.” I was extremely blown away by Klinghoffer’s guitar riff. But most notably, Flea busts out the trumpet, serenading us with a sexy solo during one of the instrumental interludes of the song. [EDIT: Flea does not play trumpet on this song. Instead, it is guest musician Michael Bulger with the nice solo on “Did I Let You Know”]

“Brendan’s Death Song” and “Happiness Loves Company” are two of the album’s best songs. “Happiness Loves Company” is piano-driven, a nice little addition for RHCP, who doesn’t feature many keys. “Brendan’s Death Song” is absolutely gorgeous, the perfect come-down song in the beginning of the album.

Lastly, “Even You Brutus?” left a great impression on me as well. Also driven by the keys, this song is funky, fun and full of life. Along with “Monarchy of Roses,” “Police Station” and “Did I Let You Know,” it showed that RHCP can create a new sound and make it work.

“I’m With You” is a frontrunner for Album of the Year. Yes, I went as far as to say this album has the potential to go that far.

It may not be “Blood Sugar Sex Magik” or “By the Way” — I don’t think they even wanted to sound like that — but instead, RHCP created something new and special. People are going to eat this album up and that’s a damn good thing.

Put this puppy on repeat. It’s going to blow your mind with each listen.

Check out a song-for-song review of the album over at “Unplugged Musings

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