Red Hot Chili Peppers "I'm With You" Album Review — 5 out of 5 stars
Mon, 22 Aug 2011 13:52:33
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"You know I'm almost dead", croons Red Hot Chili Peppers singer Anthony Kiedis in the middle of "Brendan's Death Song".
Nothing could be farther from the truth.
Kiedis and Red Hot Chili Peppers sound more alive than ever before on I'm With You, their brand new masterpiece. Even though he lyrically paints a gorgeous picture of the ferry of the dead across the river Styx, Kieidis might as well be walking on that water, held up by the colossal power of his voice. It's the group's most beautiful ballad yet, gliding on Josh Klinghoffer's elegant acoustic guitar as Chad Smith's light percussive magic kicks in and Flea wraps everything inside a warm bass line. Nevertheless, "Brendan's Death Song" is only one of 14 new classics on I'm With You.
Certainly, the record marks a rebirth for Red Hot Chili Peppers. Klinghoffer's presence can be felt throughout the music. At the same time, Smith, Flea, and Kiedis continue to evolve. After a propulsive drum beat and some organic jamming, "Monarchy of Roses" rolls with a thunder that only Led Zeppelin has ever captured on record. It's a heavy, hypnotic opener that announces the arrival of these rock 'n' roll deities before snapping into a bass-driven danceable bridge that feels utterly funkadelic.
A jazzy stomp of bass and drums fuels "Factory of Faith" as Kiedis declares, "I was searching for a dream". The chorus slips into psychedelic territory tightly locked inside Klinghoffer's riffing. More funk flash fireworks from Flea's bass land at the beginning of "Ethiopia" as his brilliant playing clenches tightly to Kiedis's poetically poignant hook.
"Annie Wants A Baby" sees the group sail way past "Californication" and into an evolved, evocative storytelling that sears as much as John Steinbeck and John Lennon simultaneously. The dreamy drops on the bridge stretch into outer space on the wings of Flea's bass and Klinghoffer's flawless fretwork. "Look Around" is an up-tempo sunny rocker complete with handclaps at all the right times. The first single "The Adventures of Rain Dance Maggie" sets the stage for the sultry blues reggae of "Did I Let You Know". Then there's "Police Station" which could very well be the most vibrantly visceral visual that the band has ever conjured. The song paints vivid portrait of loneliness and failure that's as tearjerkingly infectious as "Under the Bridge" but with another two decades of instrumental intricacy infused at heart.
Red hot Chili Peppers allow for a groovy climax during "Dance, Dance, Dance". It's a final announcement of this resurrection. Kiedis ends, "Give yourself a chance to find the way".
They've found that way and it led them to the best album of their legendary career to date and a rock record for the ages.
Will you be purchasing I'm With You when it drops on August 28, 2011?
Watch this exclusive video to see Flea talk about I'm With You here!
Read our exclusive retrospective on Blood Sugar Sex Magik from Chad Smith here!
Watch our exclusive interview with Chad and Flea here!