Red Hot Chili Peppers
I'm with You


2.5
average

Review

by Eeyah USER (9 Reviews)
March 8th, 2012 | 29 replies | 2,492 views


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A bad start to the Chili Peppers' fourth decade.

4 of 4 thought this review was well written

The Chili Peppers mean a lot to me, taking that I was a young child when I heard "Dani California" on pre-VEVO youtube (which is to my generation what pre-Oompa Loompa MTV is to Gen X). I fell in love with its parent album "Stadium Arcadium" and my family listened it almost obsessively on every trip in 2007. Looking back on that album, I do realize that it isn't that good, but it got me hooked. After maturing a little bit more (AKA eighth grade), I dove almost headfirst into the rest of their discography. And it astounded me how much the band has changed within thirty years. Okay sure, thirty years is a long time but then again the U2 of 1981 isn't that different from the U2 of 2011, neither is Social Distortion or Sonic Youth. The Chili Peppers, though evolved from the half-jokey hyper-funk of their Eighties discography, to the introspective soft arena rock of the nineties and today. Is a band allowed to change that much? Hell, even Radiohead's albums have a passing resemblance to the last one!

Which brings us to their tenth studio album, "I'm With You". This album and I also have quite an intricate history. When I first bought, I hated it and stopped listening after "Raindance Maggie". Then I decided to actually listen to the whole album, and it turned out that the last seven weren't half bad. After listening "Police Station" and "Even You, Brutus?" half a dozen times, I decided to take a break from the Chili Peppers and further explore my Alt and Indie obsession (Smashing Pumpkins, Arcade Fire and Blur). I then sat down and listened to "I'm With You" again, that's when the bomb exploded.

On the first listen, the exit of Frusciante leaves suitably large hole to fill and in all respects Josh Klinhoffer fills it nicely. Granted, his chunky muscular playing doesn't have nearly as much impact as John's melodic minimalism, but asking anyone to fill in those boots means that you have to high of expectations. Chad Smith's drumming is also wonderful, showing that he has matured from the heavy-metal neanderthal bashing that he employed on his debut with the group. Flea plays as relentlessly as ever. The rhythm section is probably the album's greatest strength and it was smart for the first half-hour to be almost solely devoted to them instrumental wise.

The main problem I have with this album is Anthony. On all of the Chili Peppers post-"Californication" albums his lyrics have became increasingly nonsensical and inane, but at least each LP had a few songs that had a singular theme. On here, though, he's just lazily rhyming words and singing about sex in metaphors that'll make a high school poet cringe. Even his singing voice, which has shown itself to be a surprising thing of beauty since he started getting coached on it, has became an annoying whine. Usually the choruses are the best things on a Chili Pepper song, but here they sound surprisingly, for lack of a better word, stupid.

The two tracks that actually have a theme to them are usually the only bright spots on the album. "Police Station" basically follows the same "California isn't all that great, man" story line as so many other Chili Pepper releases, but hey it actually works. The other track, "Brendan's Death Song" is a yearning introspective tale of a man's dying days that is based on a close friend. This track features great tribal drumming from Chad and wonderfully touching coda. The other good track on here is "Even You, Brutus?", which doesn't necessarily follow a theme but makes up for it with the really playful delivery. On here, Anthony basically yelps into the microphone and Josh takes advantage of the wah pedal. The only thing wrong with the song is the really annoying chorus that comes completely out of nowhere.

All in all, does this album really deserve a 2.5? Tell you the truth, I don't know. The album seems like an awkward transition for the Chili Peppers from one guitarist to the next. A good way to look at this is as an audition record in the same way as the Rolling Stones' "Black and Blue". Now that Anthony and Co. know that they can play with Josh, they can now work towards better albums. So yes, I look forward for future Chili Pepper releases and who knows: John might come back and the band will become a fuller five peace.



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user ratings (801)
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other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
Eeyah
March 7th 2012



36 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Hey guys, I wrote this review in both a hurry and in kind of a raging stupor so If there are any typos or errors or the review just plain sucks, then have fun tearing me apart

profoundword
March 7th 2012



239 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Not a bad review dude, and I see why Anthony annoys you, but I actually enjoy this album (There, I said it). I think if some songs like Dance, Dance, Dance *vomits in mouth* were omitted this would have been taken a bit more seriously.

Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
March 7th 2012



48551 Comments


I bet this sucks

Digging: The Hotelier - Home, Like NoPlace Is There

TheSpirit
March 7th 2012



16662 Comments


one of the most overrated fucking bands of all time

Digging: Sexdrome - Grown Younger

Eeyah
March 7th 2012



36 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

@profound word I understand why you like this album, I was just monumentally disappointed by it. Who knows, ten years from now after releasing more competent albums with Josh it might have aged better

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
March 7th 2012



9491 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

"Not a bad review dude, and I see why Anthony annoys you, but I actually enjoy this album (There, I said it). I think if some songs like Dance, Dance, Dance *vomits in mouth* were omitted this would have been taken a bit more seriously." [1111]

Good review, man. Next time, though, spend a bit more time just looking the review over, as it's filled with typos and grammatical screw-ups

Digging: Koan Sound - Dynasty

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
March 7th 2012



9491 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Also, agree completely about Anthony's role on here. I love him as a person so much, but he let me down here

Eeyah
March 7th 2012



36 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

@OmahaStylee94 and that is why I must proofread (face-palms myself) :D

HeathenEarthling
March 7th 2012



88 Comments


Way to make us all feel old.

Eeyah
March 7th 2012



36 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

To each his own. Though I admittedly have a soft spot for them because i'm a sentimental nostalgist

iambandersnatch
March 7th 2012



1451 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Even if every other song on this was a 1, I would probably at least 3 this just for "Monarchy of Roses", "Police Station", and "Even You Brutus?" each being great. Some people like "Look Around" but that's my least favorite song, the chorus annoys me. This should maybe just be a 3.5 but I'm a homer.

@ Spirit I get that some people don't like this band, but compared to a lot of overrated bands (e.g. one-trick ponies like AC/DC) this band actually comes up with a ton of really original ideas and executes them (mostly) well.

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
March 7th 2012



9491 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Police Station, Brutus, and Goodbye Hooray are fucking phenomenal

Nobody ever even mentions Goodbye Hooray. Dat ending.

The7thVermicide
March 7th 2012



925 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Is just a typical RHCP realease , is good but nothing more just like arcadium stadium

tommygun
March 7th 2012



21345 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

You're right man, Goodbye Hooray rules. Wouldn't hold your breath for JF to come back this time Eeyah, considering he's not even going to their Hall of Fame induction

sixdegrees
March 7th 2012



15772 Comments


wow, these guys are OLD. I'll have to listen to this again, but I recall it being mediocre.

Digging: Tam Tam - Polarize

AtavanHalen
March 7th 2012



17927 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

The Chili Peppers mean a lot to me, taking that I was a young child when I heard "Dani California" on pre-VEVO youtube


stopped reading

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
March 7th 2012



9491 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

TommyGun, do you know why he isn't? I'd hate to think that they're on bad terms now.

SgtPepper
Staff Reviewer
March 8th 2012



4339 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

No Frusciante.... again. I'm digging Frusciante's solo stuff especially Ataxia.
Liked the review, so i pos'd. well written stuff man, keep it up.

SgtPepper
Staff Reviewer
March 8th 2012



4339 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

@ OmahaStylee94
If youre referring to Frusciante and why he left, he just left... no bad blood. His first leave was because of drug addiction but now he's sober, and is following a pseudo-Zen like lifestyle. i mean he's a sweetheart. he said it was something he felt he had to do. - but this is what i heard from a months back.

tommygun
March 8th 2012



21345 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I read it in some interview with Chad, I think he said they asked John and he said he didn't feel comfortable going or something. Kind of a shame because without him there's no way in hell they would have been inducted but I don't really care as long as he keeps releasing solo records



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