I'm With You
Red Hot Chilli Peppers
Warner Brother Records; Music Album; Rs. 395
Breaking the five, long years of silence after the epic Stadium Arcadium , Anthony Keidis and the boys return to give us I'm With You . The album changes the image of the genre-bridging fire starters not just in style but also in terms of line up. The name has stayed the same, but they are not the band they were during Stadium Arcadium .
The Red Hot Chilli Peppers took time off after they closed their tour of Stadium Arcadium in 2007, but with nine behemoth albums and over 50 million copies sold, a fan cannot complain. They returned charged and changed, with guitarist John Frusciante replaced by Josh Klinghoffer, and an album that is primarily about life and death in the paraphrased words of bassist Flea. However except, for the public homage they pay to their friend and co-biographer Brendan Mullen in “Brendan's Death Song” and the blatant “Annie Wants A Baby”, one cannot find anymore obvious references to life or death.
Flea's and Josh's trip to Ethiopia has been a direct influence in this album, and we find that it starts with the opening “Monarchy Of Roses”.
With tribal beats and disco grooves, the track is a good omen for a fine album. “Factory Of Faith” is an amalgamation of RHCP over the years. Flea on the bass is the core of the song, and propels it forward. Followed by “Brendan's Death Song”, which understandably is a mellow, sober tribute to their friend.
“Ethiopia”, dedicated to the country, is an up-tempo tune, with East-African rhythms, giving us one of the better songs of the album. “Annie Wants A Baby”, stars Klinghoffer, and he shines and makes you briefly forget all about Frusciante. This is followed by a nostalgic jaunt to the 80's with “Look Around”. Keidis raps, and you rap with him, “Soft walk to horizon/One big crash that no one dies in.”
“The Adventures Of Rain Dance Maggie” has been a hit on the airwaves ever since they streamed it live, and it is one of the better tracks on the album. “Did I Let You Know”, a breezy track, with the drums and guitar all coming together in a nicely packaged product.
“Meet Me At The Corner” is a light and zesty sound, that gives you a Jason Mraz, Jack Johnson vibe. The album closes with “Dance, Dance, Dance”, which is unimaginative and lacks creativity.
On the whole I'm With You is not RHCP the way we remember them. The music is mediocre and any excitement that could be generated is solely because of the long break and the strong fan base.
CATHERINE RHEA ROY