Year 2, Day 3: I’m (Definitely) With You

Year 2, Day 3: Red Hot Chili Peppers – I’m With You

Tracklisting

  1. Monarchy of Roses
  2. Factory of Faith
  3. Brendan’s Death Song
  4. Ethiopia
  5. Annie Wants a Baby
  6. Look Around
  7. The Adventures of Rain Dance Maggie
  8. Did I Let You Know
  9. Goodbye Hooray
  10. Happiness loves Company
  11. Police Station
  12. Even You Brutus?
  13. Meet Me at the Corner
  14. Dance, Dance, Dance

About the Album

I’m With You, is the tenth studio album from American alternative/funk rockers, Red Hot Chili Peppers. Released in 2011, it debuted at number one in approximately 18 different countries, including the United Kingdom, and reached number two in United States and Canada. Of note, it is the first studio album to feature Josh Klinghoffer as primary guitarist, as mainstay John Frusciante departed in 2009.

Thoughts on the Album

The beauty about artists, bands, and musicians, is that as they age, they mature. Their sound matures. Their style matures. That’s what I’m With You is, a maturer version of the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

When I first picked up a copy of I’m With You by the Red Hot Chili Peppers, I really didn’t know what to think at first. That was two almost three years ago when it was released. Three years later, I can safely say it’s in my top 150. It’s good, it has it’s moments, but for me it lacks in certain areas. But overall, it’s still an excellent album.

Where I’m With You, lacks without Frusciante’s guitar, it more than makes up with the Flea’s almost perfect bass play, Kiedis’ sharp vocals, and of course Chad Smith’s powerful drumming.

Where the double album, Stadium Arcadium lacked in focus, I’m With Youmore than makes up for it. The difference between Klinghoffer and Frusciante on guitar is pretty big, but the one thing Klinghoffer does best is just be’s himself. And the beauty of Klinghoffer’s style is that, he doesn’t try to take over. He lets the other members of the band shine. It’s subtle, but big. Granted, you won’t hear anything overly complicated or complex, like Frusciante’s guitar work, but that’s okay. Sometimes the K.I.S.S. method is best (Keep It Simple Stupid).

When you first open up and but that CD in and press play, you are greeted by the oddly danceable opener “Monarchy of Roses”. “Monarchy of Roses” features some of the Flea’s best work. The distorted verses that open “Monarchy of Roses” are the first thing that come to ear. Then, the song explodes into a disco-rock chorus.

The outro of “Look Around” channels some of the opener of Californication, “Around the World” in that, it is a total mishmash of musicianship which is complimented by Kiedis’ familiar rapping. One surprise, the first single, which was “The Adventures of Rain Dance Maggie” seemingly fits perfectly into the middle of the record. It’s a beautiful fit.

The beauty of I’m With You is that it still keeps the core sound: the Flea’s bass, Smith’s drums, Kiedis’ vocals.

Conclusion

While’s probably not as good as Californicationor Blood Sugar Sex Magik, I’m With You shows that Kiedis and the gang still have it. I’m With You, brings the same RHCP funk-rock/psychedelic funk rock sound that most fans are accustomed to hearing, albeit more mature.

While on some songs they experiment a little more with their sound and may turn off some diehards, tracks like “Monarchy of Roses,” “Ethiopia,” “Look Around,” and “The Adventures of Rain Dance Maggie” reel majority of fans in. It has everything a Red Hot Chili Peppers album needs: the Flea’s funky bass slapping, Chad Smith’s driving drumbeats, Anthony Kiedis’ booming vocals and rapping. If fans are patient with Josh Klinghoffer’s guitar work, it’ll become a staple of the Peppers’ sound.

If I were to rank the best Red Hot Chili Peppers albums it would go…

  1. Blood Sugar Sex Magik
  2. Californication
  3. Stadium Arcadium
  4. By The Way
  5. I’m With You

Like I said before, the album is far from perfect. But it’s a good start to the post-Frusciante era.

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