REVIEW: Red Hot Chili Peppers – I’m With You


PSSSH– Music these days.  Am I right?

Well, no.  I don’t even believe I’m right there.  There is some damn good music being released these days and although some of it requires a bit of digging to find, the rewards are there to be reaped.

And you know what, the Red Hot Chili Peppers should know better.  They’re older than I am, they’ve won more Grammies than I have, and they’ve had more good singles than myself and several of my friends put together.  In fact, you know what?  They’re better than me.  I’ll admit it.  By why is it that they can’t break free of the typical?

This week their tenth album appeared in stores and let me preface by saying that there are no “Dani Californias”, “Scar Tissues”, “Othersides” or “Californications” on it.  Remember when those were big deals?  Heavy-hitting pop-rock songs?  This album’s first single was “The Adventures of Rain Dance Maggie”, a song that seems to have the cowbell going for it, but sounds so much like their older, lesser-known songs with less oomph…and it’s so radio-friendly!

I’m With You suffers from this plodding along throughout, so much so that only a handful of the tunes to be found may be considered keepers for a fun RHCP collection.  “Ethiopia” jilts throughout and seems disconnected throughout the chorus while the album lead-in, “Monarchy of Roses” is exceedingly by-the-books and, dare I say, dull.  And that’s really the clincher here; the album just seems boring at times.  It drags in the middle and falls off at the end.

“Rain Dance Maggie” isn’t the worst.  In fact, it’s probably one of the better songs on the album.  Likewise, “Brendan’s Death Song” is well-made and solemn despite the rock backing.  Who puts a ‘death song’ early on on the disc though?  That’s just calling for a downer.  “Goodbye Hooray” and “Happiness Loves Company” are both good, upbeat songs.  If the rest of the filler on the disc were as fun as these songs, everything before this paragraph would be a non-issue.  The final song of the disc, “Dance, Dance, Dance”, has a good beat but fails to keep the rest of the album afloat.

That’s about it– you know what?  It’s been five years since Stadium Arcadium when we got “Snow (Hey Oh)”, “Tell Me Baby”, and “Dani California” but I have to say, even though I know some people who really didn’t care for it (in favour of Blood Sugar Sex Magik) it was leaps and bounds better.  Maybe RHCP just needs a jolt.

If you eat enough peppers, they won’t taste as hot as they once did.


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