Released: Aug 30, 2011
Genre: Funk Rock, Alternative Rock, Experimental Rock
Label: Warner Bros.
Number Of Tracks: 14
Not every song might scream "instant classic" on "I'm With You", but the Chili Peppers do impress with their complex arrangements.
I'm With You
UG Team, on august 26, 2011 8 of 10 people found this review helpful
Sound: The Red Hot Chili Peppers certainly don't have to prove themselves as musicians/songwriters at this point in their career, but at the same time they have plenty to live up to in terms of past commercial and critical success. With the inclusion of John Frusciante on 2006's "Stadium Arcadium", it was hard not to celebrate the return of both tasteful and funky guitar work that the forward-thinking guitarist consistently brought to the plate. Times do change, however, and the Chili Peppers' 10th studio album "I'm With You" drives this point home effectively. New guitarist Josh Klinghoffer although a collaborator of Frusciante's has an independent style of his own. Given all the side projects and musical schooling happening with bassist Flea and drummer Chad Smith, those veterans are bringing plenty to the table as well. The resulting sound of "I'm With You" is often an eclectic group of rhythms and sounds from all parties, but it's not so out there that the Chili Peppers have forgotten the satisfaction one receives hearing a catchy chorus.
While the core songwriting on "I'm With You" is not necessarily too far of a stretch, the arrangements are what set this album apart from previous releases. Klinghoffer has a huge impact, but so does Flea, who has a stand-out intro bass line in a good chunk of the tracks. Smith, who has the talent to jam with artists from every genre, brings that traveled mentality with an array of beats many of which take on almost a world music vibe. Frontman Anthony Kiedis tends to be consistent with his vocals and doesn't stray too far from his usual style (yes, there is a bit of rap thrown in there).
The album draws from a variety of genres, from pscychedelia (Monarchy Of Roses), to a laid-back acoustic feel (Brendan's Death) to a slight Beatles' nod (Even You, Brutus?). That's not to say they are wildly out there, as the 14 tracks always tend to feel like they could be played on pretty much any rock-driven radio station. It truly is Klinghoffer's innovative additions that take the songs to the next level. He doesn't shy away from the funkiness, but he often adds in odd little touches that come out nowhere.
Factory Of Faith is driven by funk, but then all of the sudden you hear a guitar dub that could fit in a Cure track. Meet Me At The Corner is heavily steeped in jazz tradition well, except for a brief few moments at the end when Klinghoffer channels his inner country guitarist. It's honestly these bizarre arrangement choices to push the Chili Peppers sound in a much more interesting direction. And even if you don't care for the experimental approach, you can be assured that the Chili Peppers always return at the end of the song to a repeating, reliable, and memorable chorus. // 8
Lyrics: The lyrical content on "I'm With You" bounces between fun and philosophical, with the ideas rarely being predictable. That's always been a strength for the Chili Peppers, and thanks to Kiedis' commanding delivery, the lyrics are all the more effective. Standout moments include the short and the infectious Goodbye Hooray (Curb your tongue oh scallywag; Because you've got no flag to wave; Save your breath for the black and white; Every dog will have his day) and the quirky storytelling of the single The Adventures Of Rain Dance Maggie (Tick tock I want to rock you like the eighties; Cock blocking isn't allowed; Tug boat Sheila is in to memorabilia; Who said three is a crowd; We better get it on the go). Even if the big picture in every song isn't completely clear, Kiedis still can sell it. // 9
Overall Impression: "I'm With You" is certainly a far cry from the Chili Peppers' past albums, with a record like "Blood Sugar Sex Magik" seeming like an offering from a completely different band these days. But bands do mature and all that good stuff, and in many ways the Chili Peppers are conquering new musical horizons. At times each band members' musical additions might not even seem like they seem to be working with the core songwriting, but they are at the very least not afraid to try to delve into different time signatures, effects, and genres. Is every a song an instant classic on "I'm With You"? Not really, but there is also no lack of creativity in the end. // 8
I'm With You
Raising_Kane, on august 26, 2011 3 of 3 people found this review helpful
Sound: The sound is great. They've taken enough time trying to find themselves since guitarist John Frusciante's departure, and time has certainly paid off. After all of the uncertainty of the band since 2006's "Stadium Arcadium", it is quite a blessing to hear a new rebirth of the band sounding so assured. Reportedly, Flea listened to the albums "Exile On Main St." and "Tattoo You" by The Rolling Stones (arguably their best), and boy, does it show! They've made an album that presents their solidity as equally as it shows off the bands experimentation. // 9
Lyrics: The overall impression of the lyrics does come off as basic Anthony Kiedis. Honestly, this perhaps is the biggest setback of the album. Not in a bad way but, the lyrics do represent sort of a "Stadium Arcadium/Californication"-esque style. The lyrics DO provide great insight to the music, especially on songs like: "Brendan's Death Song", "Ethiopia", "Did I Let You Know" and "Police Station". The closer song of the album "Dance, Dance, Dance" leaves the listener with an uplifting happy feeling, which for a band like this, is always nice! // 7
Overall Impression: The album holds up strongly against classics like "Californication", "By The Way" & "Stadium Arcadium". Still, it may alienate the hardcore fans from the "Blood Sugar Sex Magik" era. Since the first split of John Frusciante, when the band had recruited Dave Navarro for "One Hot Minute", they hadn't sounded confident making a very experimental album. Although "One Hot Minute" remains one of my favorite albums of all time, it is for personal reasons and not technical and musically specific ones. John Frusciante, as before, is strongly missed, but Klinghoffer fulfills the bands promise not to disappoint and proves to be a more than stable member of the band for years to come! My favorite songs on the album are "Brendan's Death Song", "Ethiopia", "Did I Let You Know" and "Police Station". As a hardcore Chili Peppers fan, I love almost everything about the album. What I hate about the album is the lack of standout guitar-work from Josh Klinghoffer, not to say that he is a bad guitarist by any means. Rather, since hearing the first single, I noticed that he sounded almost scared to branch out or experiment with his fellow bandmates, and more follow suit. If this album were stolen or lost, I would immediately purchase another copy! // 8
I'm With You
unregistered, on august 26, 2011 3 of 5 people found this review helpful
Sound: After "Stadium Arcadium" it appeared for a while that the Chili's would call it a day. Guitarist John Frusciante left the band again and a period of uncertainty was certainly around for fans of the band.
Fast forward to 2011 - new guitarist Josh Klinghoffer has slid into the hole left by Frusciante and has made the spot his own allowing the band to deliver one of their best albums yet.
"I'm With You" sounds straight away like a band enjoying making music again and certainly a band perfectly complimenting each other's styles. From the ever present killer bass riffs of Flea to Klinghoffer's scifi-ish guitar tones, the Peppers are back and in top form. // 10
Lyrics: Anthony Kiedis continues to write brilliant lyrics combining poignancy, fun and raw emotion.
Highlights definitely include "Factory Of Faith" and "Brendan's Death Song" which are complete polar opposites but are equally as brilliant. // 10
Overall Impression: I have been a fan of the Red Hot Chili Peppers since their very first album and have to say that "I'm With You" is quite possibly their finest album to date. Taking little bits of influence from their earlier works and combining them together to make a smorgasmord of Chili's funk-fun - buy this album and you will be hooked!
Album highlights - "Annie Wants A Baby", "Factory Of Faith", "Look Around", "The Adventures Of Rain Dance Maggie" and "Did I Let You Know". // 10
I'm With You
unregistered, on september 01, 2011 3 of 4 people found this review helpful
Sound: What a difference four years makes! This album is an evolution of musical direction largely influenced by the departure of long term guitarist John Frusciante and arrival of Josh Klinghoffer, at times a Fru clone, at times a genius, at times too shy and reserved, hiding behind the more established members of the group, letting the likes of Flea, Anthony and Chad take the lead.
01. "Monarchy Of Roses"
When this track began I thought I'd put in the wrong CD. The angular, metallic noise which opens the song hurts your ears, but quickly blends into a classic Flea bass line which really drives the song forward.
02. "Factory Of Faith"
One of many songs opening with Flea's bass. Josh's guitar is far too quiet for my liking and needs to have more presence in the song but the solo's are good if not a little simple. One of the catchiest chorus's on the album.
03. "Brandon's Death Song"
Slow melodic acoustic number which for me really disturbs the flow of the funky, disco feel opening to the album. This song seems well received though with most critics praising it. Though I do wonder whether this song got included on the album purely for sentimental reasons rather than musical reasons. Good song, pleasant guitar and bass work, some of the best lyrics on the album but too early in the album.
Great song. The verse is a straight up Chili Peppers classic. Intricate and complex, rhythmically it feels wrong to the ears but works. Catchy chorus and bass line.
05. "Annie Wants A Baby"
My stand out song on the album. This could have been lifted straight out of "Stadium Arcadium", the guitar work straight up Frusciante in the verse. Josh really excels in this song and makes it his own, both vocally and with his guitar work. I wish the song was longer, with maybe another repetition of the fantastic chorus or haunting interlude. Josh's backing vocals on this song are truly divine!
06. "Look A Round"
A real hit or miss song. Its a slight rip off of old Chili songs. The verse is shockingly similar to "Purple Stain". Chorus is poor, too repetitive and cheesy, its not a patch on some of the monster chorus's the Chili's have put out in the past.
07. "The Adventures Of Raindance Maggie"
Great song, one of the best the album has to offer. Funky bass line, a blend of heavy distorted guitars ringing through your right ear and intricate, funky guitar playing through your left. This biggest let down is the chorus. Its annoyingly bad in comparison to some of their old work and the verse of this song.
08. "Did I Let You Know"
This is one of Josh's finest moments on the record. Its not your typical Chili song. The guitar work is great, really haunting and spooky and Josh once again challenges Frusciante for the king of backing vocals title. Chorus, yes again, a let down. The bridge really lifts the song with some great percussion, a trumpet solo and amazing Flea bass line.
09. "Goodbye Hooray"
One of the weaker verses for me. Its fast, funky, edgy but lacks feeling and direction. The chorus, though repetitive and simple is quite catchy though and helps the song regain some melody after the mess in the verse. The bridge is brilliant, its almost a disappointment that the come out of it. Brilliant in parts, bad in others.
10. "Happiness Loves Company"
More of a Beatles song than a RHCP song but its strangely good. Its weird, it very poppy, a very soft song from the funk masters. Flea's piano work really gives the song a happy feel but at times it feels a bit of a disappointment knowing the amount of quality records they've put out.
11. "Police Station"
Vocals are great on this song and Josh and Flea link up perfectly to compliment the beautiful words AK has conjured up. The chorus is great, really uplifting after the mellow verses. this reminds me of some of their "One Hot Minute" stuff.
12. "Even You Brutus"
Strangest Chili song you'll ever hear. The piano/fuzz bass/psychedelic guitar intro feels odd, but strangely compelling. Another piano driven song that you'll ever love or hate. Its not their best, but its definitely original and innovative. For me, its a no though.
13. "Meet Me At The Corner"
The "Hey" of "I'm With You". Great vocals, simple guitars and bass that really build and mix into something beautiful and powerfuk. Its a great song, very old school RHCP. One of the darkest songs on the album. Josh again wins me over with his guitar work and supreme backing vocals. Joint favorite song on the album.
14. "Dance, Dance, Dance"
This song feels like it should be a Kings Of Leon track. Its got a slightly country feel to it but danced up a bit. Didn't like this song to start with. Its not a great end to the album but it certainly grows on you. The dance, dance, dance bit is annoying. // 8
Lyrics: AK swings wildly from genius to cheesy pop. His chorus's are at times frustratingly repetitive and bland, yet their are moments of brilliance on the album. "Meet Me At The Corner" and "Police Station" are lyrically beautiful. He excels in what he does best though - superb funky rhymes and raps that are almost like a 4th instrument. Lyrically though I feel let down compared to previous endeavors. Maybe AK is too happy now days to put out the beautiful, chilling vocals that he mastered on "SA" and "By The Way". I like the stuff he did on this album, but I was waiting, mainly in vain for a "Wet Sand", a "Hey", a "Don't Forget Me" or an "Under The Bridge" to appear. His lyrics have inspired me, changed me, lifted me, made me feel all emotions available to me but not on "I'm With You". Bar one or two great performances, such as "Annie" and "At The Corner" I feel a bit cheated. I wanted to look into AK's soul again but all we really get to see is his "Rhyming Dictionary". // 7
Overall Impression: Its no doubt a good album. But as a massive fan of the band, rating all three of their last albums and "BSSM" in my top 5 albums (yes I'm that much of a fan) I feel slightly disappointed. It has good songs, it has great songs, but no perfect songs. All their Frusciante albums had songs which struck a chord with me emotionally, and that hasn't happened with any of these songs. that isn't to say they aren't great, they just could be better. AK consistently makes the songs slightly laughable with his choruses, that always seem to decrease the overall impression of the song compared to the verses.
DRUMMING (Chad Smith)
He never fails really. Consistently great for the song, at times shines through. but nobody expected any difference. He's the rhythmic hammer that drives the band forward. For me its a flawless performance from a drummer who isn't the most flash, but plays his heart out for each and every song on the album. Highlights for me are "Raindance", "Brendans Death Song" and "Annie".
Really the driving force behind so many of the tracks. At times Josh's guitar seems too quiet, to shy in the mix but Flea's intricate, funky, heavy bass lines more than compensate. Highlights are "Factory Of Faith", "Did I Let You Know" and "Raindance".
GUITAR (Josh Klinghoffer)
Mixed. Some songs are great yet some songs he really needs to turn his guitar up a bit. He seems to opt for the soft, clean sound but for me it wouldn't hurt to stick a few power chord, heavily distorted riffs in there for good measure. As a result some of the chorus come off a bit weak, for example "Raindance Maggie". His vocal work is great, which is a relief as Frusciante's vocal work on their previous albums was a thing of beauty and made some of the songs what they are. His best songs for me are "Annie Wants A Baby And Did I Let You Know".
VOCALS (Anthony Kiedis)
Brilliant or horrid. There's no doubt he can sing nowadays. Vocally he's great, no problem. Its the fact that he chooses repetitive, overly rhymed chorus's and fails to lift on the few songs which have a bridge. Rhythmically he holds his own on some of the more complex tracks. Best songs are "Police Station", "Meet Me At The Corner" and "Did I Let You Know". // 8
I'm With You
unregistered, on august 30, 2011 1 of 2 people found this review helpful
Sound: The sound on this album isn't the best. But it also isn't the worst. There isn't a lot of funk in Kiedis' singing, funk is present on this album though. The bass lines on this album are fantastic; Flea proves he is still a great bassist. John Frusciantes' replacement, Josh Klinghoffer did a very adequate job, not in an adequate way though. He kept the sound of the RHCP but definitely added something new. Overall it wasn't the best of their albums sound wise, but it can definitely be put close to "By The Way" and "Californication". It is better than "Stadium Arcadium" too. // 8
Lyrics: Kiedis branches out his lyrics on this album to different subjects than he has in RHCP last few albums. The best written songs on this album are, in order, "Brendan's Death Song", "Even You, Brutus?", "Goodbye Hooray", and "Factory Of Faith". The best singing, in order, is on "Meet Me At The Corner", "Dance Dance Dance", "Brendan's Death Song", and "Factory Of Faith". His singing is much more mellow and much less funky than on bast albums like "Mother's Milk", "Blood Sugar Sex Magik", and "One Hot Minute". It is much more mature but still very good singing and it works in well with the music. // 9
Overall Impression: Even if you say they've mellowed out, they are still one of a kind music. No one else sounds anything like them. The most impressive songs on this album were "Factory Of Faith", "Brendan's Death Song", "Police Station", and "Ethiopia". I was very impressed with this album after listening to "Stadium Arcadium". It surpassed that album by a good amount and they grew into a slightly different sound. I can't say I hate anything, besides the couple of songs where John Klinghoffer doesn't have enough to do on and the guitar is a little stale. The guitar on most of these songs are outstanding though. This album would find me purchasing it again if I lost it somehow. // 10
I'm With You
Toblerone94, on september 06, 2011 1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Sound: The Red Hot Chili Peppers have always had a distinct sound created by blending aspects of punk, pop and funk. Sometimes one of these apsects is more prominent than the other, "Blood Sugar Sex Magik" was very funk and hard rock driven, whereas more recent titles "Californication" and "By the Way" were more based on melody and infectious choruses.
The three aforementioned albums were agruably the three greatest RHCP albums of thier career and all were recorded with legendary guitarist John Frusciante. Now that he has left the band a second time, newbie Josh Klinghoffer has stepped into the ring to take his place and no doubt be heavily judged and examined by devout Frusciante fans. But he is certainly not a Frusciante clone.
Klinghoffer is one of many things that has altered but not completely changed RHCP's sound on "I'm With You". His more textured, subtle guitar work may go unnoticed at first, but it is sure to grow on you after a few listens. That is unless you enjoy the more flashy, loud style of play Frusciante employed on much of the bloated "Stadium Arcadium"; there's little of that here.
I'm not suggesting Klinghoffer is the only fresh sound on this new album, the other three established band members have grown into something that compliments their new guitarist beautifully. Flea creates some superb bass lines throughout the album thanks to his music theory lessons during the break. Chad Smith is clearly adept at playing all styles of rhythm, and he employs many of them on these 14 tracks (listen to "Ethiopia" for an example of his tricky, almost off-rhythm drumming prowess). And Anthony Kiedis' voice only continues to grow more pure and haunting, although he does resort back to good ol' fashioned rapping from time to time, it wouldn't be an RHCP album without that really.
So, the sound on "I'm With You" is still RHCP, but it's not more of the same. It's changed enough to be seen as growth, but hasn't changed too much to be seen as experimental. It's better than an album full of the same old isn't it? A few new fans may be won over by their new, cleaner, less heavy sound, but plenty (if not all) of their millions of old fans should be satisfied also. // 8
Lyrics: Kiedis has always provided interesting lyrics, hence why they are so memorable. Fans will always chant along to his words even if they make little or no sense to anyone but him. But that's not a bad thing, some could argue that Kiedis' often off the wall lyrics are in such a way in order to fit more with the melody of the songs. It's personal opinion, I personally would scarifice the odd meaningful line in order to hear some nonsense that bounces off the rhythm of the song in a downright catchy way.
Not all of Kiedis' lyrics are nonsense though, on the more upbeat songs sure, he has fun but that's when he can. it's on the ballads, the emotional pieces that he really showcases that he can write haunting, dark and undeniably touching poetry. He delivers his words in a matching fashion to make them even more effective. // 8
Overall Impression: Track by track:
1) Monarchy of Roses: the first few seconds, the sound of a band tuning, setting and warming up their tools. It then rolls into a tense, booming and shaky verse that wouldn't be out of place on a metal album. But then, when most would think "God, RHCP have gone emo", the foursome dramatically switch to a funky, classic RHCP chorus that I defy you not to nod your head to; it is almost reminiscent of disco music. A brilliant and original opener: 8.5/10
2) Factory of Faith: Flea's bass kicks off proceedings here. It's arguably his best on the album; funky, fast and catchy, Flea is back and better than ever on this album. Kiedis' sing-rap technique is back in full swing here also. Listen out for Klinghoffer's subtle guitar work on the verses, chicken scratches have never been so pleasing to the ear. The chorus is bound to be a sing-a-long at concerts, and it is one of the better ones on the album: 9/10
3) Brendan's Death Song: amidst the funky, fuel-injected start to the album sits one of the most mellow ones. Written as a tribute, this soing is being rightfully cited as the most beautiful on the album. With its gentle acoustic opening, warm bass and atmospheric drum work, it is genuinely touching. The stealer of the show on this one, though, is Kiedis. Not only are his lyrics poignant and personal as ever, his vocal work hits all thr right notes so that you will literaly get goosebumps on every mention of "like I said you know I'm almost dead/you know I'm almost gone". This ballad builds into a powerful send off, ending this masterpiece on a high note and putting it up there with RHCP's best work: 9.5/10
4) Ethiopia: the infectious bass of Flea opens this track as well, and before you know it Smith's odd drums burst in along with Klinghoffer's beeping, almost echoing guitar. Smith is the master on this track, as the drums are the most memorable part of it. It almost makes it not sound right, but if you listen closely and appreciate the work of how it's done, it's just downright entertaining. The chorus is so-so, but Klinghoffer produces one of the best solos on the album which makes up for it: 8/10
5) Annie Wants a Baby: a gem of a track. Many could skip over this due to its darker sound and lyrical content, but this is one of the best tracks for Klinghoffer. His sharp playing is more in the foreground than ever here, and thank God. This is the most Frusciante-esque you'll ever hear Klinghoffer, and it's a great marriage. This song is one of the best on the album, even if the chorus lacks a bit of power, it's more reminiscient of post-Californication RHCP than any other track on the album: 8.5/10
6) Look Around: Kiedis himself said that he fought for this track to make it on the album just so he could play it live as it is so much fun. I can understand why. This unashamedly jumpy track knows it's there purely to party and bop around to, and it doesn't care. Classic funky verses, with Kiedis sexual lyrics clipping in and out of chirpy guitar quiffs and groovy bass. The chorus is a celbration, sure it's repetitive and only has three different words spanning six lines, but it's impossible not to find catchy. It's samey, it's dumb and it's no piece of artistic genius, but who cares?: 8.5/10
7) The Adventures of Rain Dance Maggie: the lead single of tha album harkens back to the typical RHCP formula for this album; funky bass line, powerful drums, textured guitar chords and vocals with attitude. And there's a surprise: cowbell. And its use is simply inspired. The verses are so damn funky, they could be played on loop for hours at parties and the dancing would never cease. But the chorus is a bit of a let down. The guitar isn't pumped up enough in the mix, making it seem like just a crowd chant led by Kiedis. The use of "hey now" (or the word "hey" in general to start choruses) is getting a bit old now. But then there's an enjoyable minute-long outro, with Kiedis boo-bopping and talking nonsense over it, you can't help but love it really: 8.5/10
8) Did I Let You Know: kicking off the second half of the album is this track, and it would be nice to have a bit of a mix up in the proceedings as the first half was typical RHCP funk punk for the most part. "Did I Let You Know" is certainly different, just listen out for the star of the show, the trumpet solo just before the halfway mark. Throw that in with gentle singing, one of the best, most original guitar riffs from Klinghoffer on the album, at long last a half-decent chorus with superb backing vocals, and you've got a good'un: 8.5/10
9) Goodbye Hooray: definitely the heaviest, most aggressive track on the album which some are bound to love and others are sure to dislike. The verses are scratchy and loud, lacking a bit of direction I think, and the chorus resorts back to the word "around" being repeated a bit too much. It's not just a heavy filler track to move them away from being placed in the pop genre though, as there's a crazily exciting bass frenzy in there to keep you going: 7/10
10) Happiness Loves Company: Smith's marching drum work and a bouncy, honky-tonk style piano tune lay the foundation for this at first seemingly dark track. But then the jangly, cameraderie-filled chorus enters the fray and transforms this track into the most uplifting on the album, and the closest you'll find to the pop genre. Some may consider it to airy-fairy, but the title gives you enough of a warning. It's bound to cheer you up, the piano is the bset thing on offer here: 8/10
11) Police Station: Kiedis' storytelling is at is very best on this song, and so are Klinghoffer's soft vocal touches; it's not like falsetto Frusciante, but more gentle and pure. The chorus has all the power it needs and sounds truly triumphant, but it's the verses that paint the best picture in the listener's head since the anthem "Under the Bridge". I'm not saying the song is as good as "Under the Bridge", but it creates just as strong an image: 8.5/10
12) Even You Brutus?: probably the album's most experimental track, it has piano, audio effects and spoken verse all within the first verse. Kiedis' barking rapping in the verses can grind on one's ears after a while, but the unbearably funky pre-chorus that combines wah-wah guitar with bouncy piano and fast, snappy vocals is a joy. One of the highpoints of the album is these insanely funky pre-choruses, I dare you to say otherwise. The chorus mentions Brutus and Judas cleverly, but is still a bit unoriginal and uses the dreaded "hey" to start it. Apart from that, this unique track is definitely one to savour if you're open to a bit of experimentation: 8.5/10
13) Meet Me at the Corner: a nice cool-down song as the album draws to a close. This song has tender vocals, a gentle, muted bass and exquisite guitar work. Smith also gets props for his restraint here and completing the package to create a soft, emotive ballad. It's not all relaxing here though, as the song does build into something more, similar to "Brendan's Death Song". Klinghoffer even ends the song with some guitar work that's clearly influence by country music. Boy, he has definitely showcased his playing chops by this point of the album by spanning the genres. A triumph: 8.5/10
14) Dance, Dance, Dance: like "Look Around", this song is just an instruction to party. It's not a heavy mad cap rollercoaster, but it's the most atmospheric song on the album. It echoes, it claps and it just feels so firendly you can't help but smile. It's as if the new RHCP line up are playing themselves out, getting further away down the road, but still waving back playing their farewell tune after a superb ride of an album: 8.5/10
Overall, "I'm With You" is a very concise and rounded package, and an improvement over the sprawling, didn't-need-to-be-a-double-album "Stadium Arcadium". Klinghoffer is fully cemented into the group and he, along with the growth of the others, has altered the RHCP sound not into something necessarily better or worse, but something different. Something highly enjoyable. I would put "I'm With You" just about on par with "Californication" and "By the Way". // 8
I'm With You
k10, on august 29, 2011 0 of 8 people found this review helpful
Sound: What to say really, there are the big one RHCP... Although this sound isn't as it should be, like there was J.F. It's still funk/punk, also it's kind a psychedelic rock with the song "Monarchy Of Roses". This album seems like a cheap versione of "Stadium Arcadium". I'm not quite impressed whit Josh, he should improve a little bit. // 7
Lyrics: Antony is a king really, he has great voice, and skill's. His lyrics are "rich", but in this album, lyrcis are written not just by him, Flea and Josh have there piece of cake. Lyrics are great. // 9
Overall Impression: The most impressive song "Brendan's Death Song" and "The Adventures Of Rain Dance Maggie". As I said this album is a cheap versione of previous album. I love old punk/funk sound, Flea bass lines. Don't love Josh, he is great, but for me nothing can supstitute John Frusciante. If this album would be stolen, I wouldn't buy it again. I'll enyoide in older albums, and John's solos. // 7
I'm With You
sirpsycholeo, on august 01, 2012 0 of 1 people found this review helpful
Sound: Up to this day there are people who are still moaning on John's departure from the Peppers. And, although his guitar work is really missed at some points, Klinghoffer's style brings a new and fresh sound to the band.
01. "Monarchy Of Roses": The effects and random notes by Josh sound really strange for a old RHCP fan, and then, Chad and Flea kick in, and a dark and heavy verse, in the likes of the "One Hot Minute" era starts. Anthony comes up with a distorted voice, which only inclines you to think they returned to that old sound. But when the chorus comes up, we're faced with a very disco-ey, bright thing, suggesting that new things are to come. The interlude for the song is really driven by Chad's crazy drumming, and the outro is veeeery catchy.
02. "Factory Of Faith": Flea is the highlight of this one, with his awesome bass-line. Josh plays his guitar with some scrathcy, electro-like effects, and Chad drives the song forward with his simple drumming. Anthony came up with a very catchy chorus.
03. "Brendan's Death Song": This is one of the album's best ones! Everything about is amazing, from Josh's guitar work, that subtlety builds up throughout the entire song, to Chad's amazing drums fills, Flea running bass scales up and down the neck, and Anthony's singing deserves a special mention. He really improved through the years, and not only he hits those high notes, but also showed a very beautiful and solid melody on this one.
04. "Ethiopia": At the odd tempo of 3/4, "Ethiopia" is very catchy, funky, and fun to listen. Flea plays a memorable bass-line, and Chad drives the rhythm forward with mastery. Josh's playing fits the song fine, but the solo is not as cool as the rest, because he just keep repeating the same three notes. Anthony, though, did what he's supposed to, so, the chorus is very catchy and so is the E-I-O-I-E-I-A hook.
05. "Annie Wants A Baby": A haunting, beautiful melody. Flea, again plays a cool bass-line (that sounds similar to the "This Is The Place", though), which drives the song, and Chad pounds the shit out of his toms, providing a powerful beat. Josh's voice is more clear in this one, his backing vocals are deep and beautiful.
06. "Look Around": This will be the most familiar sound to the old Chili Peppers fans in the album. Straight, funky, the verse is similar to the one in Purple Stain, and the vocals in the break is similar to the "Oh-A kissin' and a moochin'" in "By The Way". Anyways, the chorus will get stuck in your head, and Flea is simply awesome, with that funky Billie Jean-like bass.
07. "The Adventures Of Rain Dance Maggie": It's getting kinda repetitive to say that Flea does an awesome bass-line and Anthony sings a catchy chorus. But, that's what this song is about. Aside of that, we have Josh's effect-filled solo, and, COWBELL! Even being a great track, makes you wonder if it was really the best choice for the first single, with so many others great songs on the album.
08. "Did I Let You Know": Chad's latin-influenced beat makes this song a very dance-y number. It simply makes you wanna move. And Josh is also a star on this one. His guitar playing is really unique, mixing unusual chords with catchy riffs. Also, the trumpet solo is something to be mentioned, which is played over awesome percussion.
09. "Goodbye Hooray": Here, you finally get to hear a virtuoso solo from Josh! And Flea also does a solo, which, as you can expect, is pretty awesome. Chad's playing is the highlight, driving the song through it's fast-paced tempo. Catchy chorus once again, and the verse is uplifted by the instruments rather than the vocals.
10. "Happiness Loves Company": Flea plays piano on this one. It's a very happy song, with sweet melodies. Chad pounds his drums really hard on this.
11. "Police Station": A really melodic song, one the the album's greatest. Anthony vocals are really great, with a powerful chorus. Also, Josh did a great job on guitar, with a sweet guitar solo over a beautiful piano line.
12. "Even You Brutus?": The intro suggests a song from their "One Hot Minute" era, but then, a soul music-like piano starts, and Anthony sings in a spoken style. Josh's guitar uses a lot of wah, and is very f--king rockin'. The chorus is pretty much catchy, and Anthony did a memorable job in it, and so did Flea. My favorite track off the album, although the most different one.
13. "Meet Me At The Corner": This one has a very jazzy feel to it, especially because of Josh's guitar playing. Anthony did a great job on the vocals, and so did Flea on the bass. The middle section features vocals by Josh, which are delicated and fragile, and his backing vocals through the song are very beautiful too. Great song, especially the outro.
14. "Dance, Dance, Dance": The atmospheric feel in it invokes imagery of sunny days and beaches. Chad playing in this is really cool, and really makes you wanna dance. Anthony vocals WILL get stuck in your head, and you have no choice. The bridge is very peaceful, and that's the feeling the song evokes through most of it. Good album closer. // 10
Lyrics: The themes on the album are quite diverse, and Anthony lyrics are really made of highs and lows. His emotional lyrics about the death of Brendan Mullen in "Brendan's Death Song" are truly beautiful and deep, in the opposite of the general nosense in "Rain Dance Maggie" and "Goodbye Hooray".
His lyrical skills show up in "Meet Me At The Corner", "Police Station", "Ethiopia" and "Annie Wants A Baby", covering themes such as ending relationship, deceased fame, his relation with his son, among others. For all the rest, it seems like the themes are too personal to be understood by anyone but him, or, when you get it, it's just not that good.
But about his voice, there's nothing much to criticize, since Anthony has already proved himself as a good singer. But in this album, there are moments which will leave you amazed by how good he became, and I can surely say that this is the album which Anthony shows his best vocal skills. // 7
Overall Impression: This is a very big change for the Peppers, and it couldn't have been better, I think. With the loss of Frusciante, the new album could have been a shame. But Josh really showed that he's not Frusciante, and he's not better than him or anything. He's simply different, and so is the new RHCP era, which release a great record.
The highlights from the album are "Brendan's Death Song", "Did I Let You Know", "Police Station", and "The Adventures Of Rain Dance Maggie. The best thing about it, it's that it might sound different from the guys that you used to know, but you can still hear the spirit that they used to have. And though changes brings some low points, these ain't nothing that will ruin the brilliant result. // 9
I'm With You
Dave699, on august 14, 2012 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sound: I should probably just straight away make it clear that I'm an absolutely huge fan of John Frusciante. His music, especially with the Chili Peppers, has shaped my own musical evolution in the biggest way possible. He was and still is one of my all-time musical heroes and will always have a special place in my heart. I will also state that when John Frusciante left the Chili Peppers it was a clear ending of that era, he stated he was no longer interested in being in a big rock band. As much as it hurt, the world turns on and music has to be made or the world will end, right? The album I'm about to talk about really has nothing to do with our good friend John. This is, to spell it out clearly, a New Red Hot Chili Peppers.
So last time we were in this position "One Hot Minute" happened which is enough to raise worries about what to expect from a new guitarist. It was ok, but it didn't really feel like the Red Hot Chili Peppers. The good news is that any fears in that regard are quickly quashed as I'm With You seems to encapsulate everything that the Red Hot Chili Pepper are really about. It has all the themes and ideals you'd expect and want if you're familiar with their previous albums, but what's new here feels like a genuine evolution rather than a puzzle with a missing piece. It seems Josh Klinghoffer's puzzle piece slots in perfectly and along with Flea's new focus on playing piano and composition; I'm With You sounds like one of the most diverse and complete Chili Peppers albums since Blood Sugar Sex Magik. Just to clarify before you accuse me of sacrilege, "Blood Sugar Sex Magik" saw not only the perfection of what the Chilis had been doing for years but an evolution in terms of songwriting and scope. I believe the same thing has happened with "I'm With You", their sound is still rooted in their trademark funk/rock but the diverse influences and love for all things music are as clear as they ever were. Not only that but it also comes perfectly at a time when it seems a lot of long term, dedicated Chili Peppers fans might be starting to feel like they may have heard it all before. The shift in songwriting input on the album is used perfectly as an ingredient and driving force in this respect, alongside the raw energy and funkiness rather than a hidden supporting pillar. This is most clearly evident in many of the sumptuous chord changes in tracks such as "Goodbye Hooray", "Meet Me At The Corner" and "Police Station", also in a perfected execution of melody with the simple, infectious and beautiful vocal lines of tracks such as "Did I Let You Know", "Brendan's Death Song" and "Police Station". One more thing I'd like to highlight is the re-appearance of the brilliant unexpected middle sections which haven't been done so well in god knows how long; such as demonstrated in songs such as "Look Around" and "Goodbye Hooray". This is almost the perfect analogy for what the whole album is, the beautiful unexpected middle section of the Chili Peppers musical evolution. // 9
Lyrics: If you're a fan of the Chili Peppers, you know what your going to get lyrically. Mostly an almost stream of consciousness style of what Keidis is thinking, feeling and has experienced. As you'd expect from this you get the odd line that's a little cringy but hey, such is the game of self expression. As evident from his origins, Keidis is a very rhythmic lyricist, as it perfectly fits his and the bands style, so he's more likely when chosing words to pick ones that just sound and feel good in the context of the song. Keidis' lyrics aren't meant to be clear in terms of understanding exactly what he's talking about, its an expressive form rather than informative and he generally manages to create something which is both clearly very specific to him whilst also being really very universal.
Being aware of Josh Klinghoffer's work before this album I knew he's got the vocal capability. What is a complete joy on this album is not only that Josh's harmonies are ever present and utterly perfect, there are also a few sections where Josh steps up and sings part of the main vocal melody. It's clear the band have given themselves time to mould around each other and let Josh bring as much of himself into the mix to create something new. And put simply, it just works, beautifully. // 8
Overall Impression: While the diversity of the songs might completely do it for me, I'm certain that there will be plenty of people who will like some songs and not others. People may find the complex time signatures and polyrhythms on "Ethiopia" a little alienating, and others may find the straight, almost disco-pop feel to "Factory Of Faith" a bit too simplistic. To those I say variety is the spice of life, there's enough to bind these songs together while keeping them distinct entities, and I can't help but feel that's exactly as an album should be. I have been listening to this album for coming up to a year now and my love for practically every song on the album has only grown over time. With a few exceptions these are songs with depth, layers and lasting beauty to stay with you. I did mention exceptions, I'm not completely enamoured with "Annie Wants A Baby". there's nothing particularly wrong with it, it just feels like its lacking some of the excitement and energy of the other tracks. I also feel that "The Adventures Of Raindance Maggie" is suffering a little from "first single-itis". Both of those songs seem a little straightforward, and as such overtime have suffered a little. It is however worth remembering that even the weakest Chili Peppers songs are still beautiful and valuable pieces of music.
One thing's for sure, you shouldn't confuse any song with another on this album, every song has its own flavour and the album as a package is a lot stronger for it. The varied textures throughout the different tracks are a fantastic multi-coloured splat of brilliance in what feels like a rather black and white striped world of today's popular music scene. Of course the musical diversity wouldn't mean much without the amount of love and care that's evident in the sheer quality of the songs, such as you'd expect from the Chilis. Embracing styles, sensibilities and sounds from a surprising reach of genres, there's not a single ounce of musical prejudice or snobbery which seems to plague the music industry and so many other bands and musicians work. It's incredibly refreshing and exciting in a time when most music seems to be about playing it safe and sticking to what's commercially expected so as not piss off stubborn fans and critics. Through all this the band has retained their trademark sound we know and love whilst exponentially expanding its horizons. Anthony Keidis said about the album "This is a beginning" and the possibility that another album will be made with Josh Klinghoffer makes me excited about the Red Hot Chili Peppers in a way I hadn't expected. They have always been about quality, creativity and fearless freedom of expression, on "I'm With You" I think they've outdone themselves. // 9