album review : I’m With You (2011) – Red Hot Chili Peppers

album : I’m With You

artist : Red Hot Chili Peppers

genre : Alternative Funk Rock

year : 2011

Los Angeles-based alternative funksters Red Hot Chili Peppers have tried everything there is to the genre they lost themselves to. In 2011, after their longest gap between albums, they’ve hit the double digit. With a mass following across the globe, Red Hot Chili Peppers (or, RHCP) thought of giving back their love for their fans by simply naming their album – I’m With You. The band’s ability to enunciate their music so well has directly resulted in them connecting with so many lives and the aroma in their songs just refuses to settle down, but I’m With You just doesn’t leave you satisfied. Read on…

Kiedis and co. are ready with their dancing boots even before the mood is built up. Considering they are not essentially a band that makes dance music, this comes as a little surprise. The party begins on a high note with Monarchy of Roses. Oh the bass that hits the chest! There is a lot of dance junk that tries to replace the pure funk we want. With an electronic bad breath, Factory of Faith carries an aura of excellence around it but doesn’t leave a lasting impression. The two tracks that would take you back in time along with RHCP are – Look Around and The Adventures of Rain Dance Maggie. They are funky, peppy with all the instruments working in sync in a very alternative fashion. But, I am not sounding too happy, and I’m aware of that.

Speaking of the album’s flow, taking a whole u turn are tracks three and eleven which are Brendan’s Death Song and Police Station respectively. Constructed to be soft like a breeze of smooth blowing air, the latter one should have been higher up on the track list. Another song with bass domination is Ethiopia, and the band is high on this one. ‘E I O I E I A’ definitely stays. Annie Wants a Baby is soulful with guitars making the most impact although strummed minimally. An unpredictable track with trumpets et al at number eight, Did I Let You Know changes the mood of the record and thereby stands apart.

And now we have the weaker tracks on I’m With You.  The attempt with Goodbye Hooray is to win but it doesn’t fit in the scheme of things. Except for a solo and some trippy guitars there is not much to it. As the name suggests, the high spirits are maintained on Happiness Loves Company. The least likeable song on the record is Even You, Brutus? with a whole lot of rapping that kills the fun. At number thirteen we have Meet Me At the Corner. It is one drowsy song which would work for some and wouldn’t for the rest and that totally depends on how the album has built up for you uptil now. I’m With You could’ve done without this track. The album ends on a low note with a boring song that goes by the name Dance, Dance, Dance. RHCP forgot their old fans while composing this one.

In a way RHCP write all their stuff, even on I’m With You – we have a song for a person who wants to hit the disco, another one who is feeling all so energetic, yet another one where a person is feeling all lost in thoughts contemplating about every thing there is to life, and then one for an eternal romantic. The lyrics are classic-RHCP that’ll make even your stinky armpits smell good. Yes, they pen it that way. If the departure of John Frusciante made you feel like it’s the end of an era, then the arrival of Josh Klinghoffer is beginning of another one with a new attempt. The man has made his presence felt, not by chance, but with full command, on not just one but all of the tracks.

The crazy gang at Red Hot Chili Peppers never made any bones about announcing that they are going down in the history books as the greatest alternative funk band and every other act would naturally settle down in the other ranks of the ladder. Being one of the most anticipated releases of 2011 I’m With You has somehow not met the expectations. The fans might be content but would not be completely overjoyed because of I’m With You. And, for people who are coming face-to-face with RHCP for the first time through this album, let me tell you this straight – this is not the RHCP everyone told you about.

Rating : 3/5

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About Itihas Shetty

Is a verbomaniac. And a human being. And that's where the problem begins. View all posts by Itihas Shetty

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