Red Hot Chili Peppers – I’m With You

24 Aug

I’m With You, the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ terrible new album, represents an abandonment of what made the band exciting and vital cash-loaded MTV stars/nudists: the unique punk/funk hybrid and soulful ballads of spiritual drug taker Anthony Keidis have been replaced by slick, by-the-numbers corporate rock, a far cry from their hardcore, Reagan-hating opus ‘Californication’.  From that effort the band arguably only became more punk rock, calling their next album ‘Dick Germs’ and winning 1,000,000,000,000  13-year-old fans, however this album’s hit (of cocaine), the mildly catchy “The Adventures of Rain Dance Maggie”, is so utterly ordinary, you’d never know it was the same band that produced ‘Dick Germs’.

It’s impossible to state the number of things that are wrong about this album, but starting with the Red House Painters previous effort, ‘Down Colorful Hill’, would be a good place to start. First off, spiritual drug taker John Frusciante quit the band unceremoniously in 2009, which – combined with their recent Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction and the death of singer Anthony ‘Chad’ Smith- should have been the sad but necessary way to end RHCP after their terrific, grindcore-influenced last effort, Stadium Arcadium. Instead, homeless underground producer Rick Rubin comes along stifles their once ball-ripping production values, as on the thrasher showcase ‘Road Trippin’, produced by Rick Rubin. It sounds like the album was recorded in his basement. On ‘Monarchy of Roses’, sung by Anthony Keidis under a bridge, Keidis dedicates drugs to the city of Los Angeles. On ‘Look Around’, sung by Anthony Keidis with one sock on his penis, the bass line was played by Flea, who was wearing one sock on his penis during the recording. Despite the punk rock gestures of this, this album is slightly more polished than the black metal leanings of their previous album, ‘Mother’s Milk’. Throughout the album, and especially on ‘Look Around’, Keidis plays the same sex-crazed party boy of ‘To Record Only Water for Ten Days’, it’s just that at age 50 Keidis does not seem to realize he is too old to bag the chicks who once fawned over his million-selling effort ‘True Men Don’t Killed Coyotes’, originally recorded by Stevie Wonder. He also doesn’t realize that he and his band are fast becoming has-beens or that Rick Rubin spending millions of dollars producing the album doesn’t disguise the fact that no-one in the band is able to write a decent song to complement the dressing. Hopefully, RHCP will use the embarrassment in a positive way and retire before they damage their legacy further.

Star rating: 1/5 stars

Bobby Slick

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9 Responses to “Red Hot Chili Peppers – I’m With You”

  1. Don August 24, 2012 at 4:11 pm #

    Don’t knock the Peppers, dude, they rule.

    • Brynna September 2, 2012 at 10:56 pm #

      I appreciate the honesty of the review. Peppers used to be great, but commercialism has taken over their sound, which just can’t be denied.

  2. Julie F. August 24, 2012 at 4:22 pm #

    I’m a RHCP fan but haven’t heard I’m With You yet… i trust your reviews but what I can tell you is that Anthony Keidis is still hot!

  3. Bobby Slick August 24, 2012 at 5:49 pm #

    Don: I didn’t knock the Peppers. I used to like them. It’s just that their last few albums have been mediocre at best.

    Julie: He’s not hot, but anyway even if you like the Peppers I’m pretty sure you won’t dig this one.

    Bobby Slick

  4. babyvsband August 24, 2012 at 6:07 pm #

    I haven’t heard the new album, so I can’t say whether I agree with you or not. But what I can say is that I appreciate an honest review — even if it is negative. Too many reviews these days are unnecessarily celebratory and “safe.” So thanks.

  5. Sara August 24, 2012 at 6:15 pm #

    Bobby – I can’t tell you how much i love all your reviews! Thanks for proving that the chili peppers aren’t red hot anymore!

  6. molly68 August 24, 2012 at 9:12 pm #

    Thanks so much for this review. I couldn’t believe when I saw that Rolling Stone had a favorable reaction to the album! Blogs like this are alot more vital to me than almost anything that gets freshly pressed.

  7. Tom August 25, 2012 at 12:47 am #

    Agreed, thanks for the review.

  8. Nick September 3, 2012 at 8:42 pm #

    Couldn’t agree more. Liked about half of stadium though. No more red hot. Barely luke warm.

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