When it comes down to formulating first impressions on a newly released record, the facet known as predictability can be more formidable than any other. With that said, some things are so goddamn predictable that they completely eliminate any prior anticipation that the listener had, even when expectations are minimal. Throughout the past decade, it has been easy to diagnose the Red Hot Chili Peppers with the “maturity syndrome;” maturity being the term that is utilized by fans that are in denial over the decline of their favorite groups, regardless of the quality of the band’s recent releases. Since the release of alternative-rock nugget Californication, the Red Hot Chili Peppers have seen a gradual drop-off in the eminence of their records, continually opting for the “safe” release. Although By the Way was a rather terrific record, neither it nor the filler-laden Stadium Arcadium could hold a candle to the band’s former work, indicating that the band would likely continue its downward spiral.
Now may be a good time to send Josh Klinghoffer a sympathy card.
When John Frusciante departed the Red Hot Chili Peppers after the release of BloodSugarSexMagik, many were concerned with the long-term survival of the group. Joining forces with Jane’s Addiction’s Dave Navarro, the Chili Peppers manufactured the intriguing, yet wildly inconsistent One Hot Minute, which furthered the stereotype that the band would struggle without Frusciante, regardless of the record’s upside. The general consensus leading up to the funk/rock outfit’s tenth release I’m With You brought about a similar phenomenon, due to the fact that Frusciante had yet again, left (a rather good decision). Sadly, I’m With You continues the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ foray into further mediocrity, featuring a collection of lifeless and in several cases cringe-worthy songs. With the exception of “Even You Brutus?” and few others, I’m With You is an indication of a band that is refusing to expand on its illustrious discography, a group that is content with doing what is expected of them at the current stage in the game. Worst of all, the backlash that I’m With You will inevitably receive will be directed at the absence of Frusciante and the presence of Josh Klinghoffer. This criticism however, is unwarranted. It isn’t clear that this record would have been significantly better with Frusciante, or even better at all, due to the fact that much of the release is plagued with the same conventional pop-rock that beleaguered Stadium Arcadium. After all, wasn’t Frusciante the guitarist on that record?
Despite the fact that the Chili Peppers have always been home to an immense level of talent, Anthony Kiedis’ abilities as a songwriter have never been considered one of the strengths of the band. This issue was especially revealed on Stadium Arcadium with tracks such as “Hump De Bump” and “Snow,” which exposed Kiedis’ knack for taking a simple idea and transforming it into an absolutely grating experience. On I’m With You, “Factory of Faith” and “Dance, Dance, Dance” are protruding for the very same reason, the latter proving to be one of worst tracks (if not the worst) in the band’s discography. Unfortunately, moments like the tracks in the aforementioned statement are typically the only flashes that catch the listener’s attention, and do so for the very wrong reason.
With the departure of John Frusciante for the second time, and the introduction of Josh Klinghoffer as lead guitar, one would assume that the Red Hot Chili Peppers' new release I’m With You, would be a breath of fresh air for a band that has failed to take a chance in some time. For those of you that have followed the band from Californication until Stadium Arcadium, the group’s 2011 installment sounds exactly how you would expect it to sound. While still immeasurably talented, even without the songwriting and innovation of Frusciante on guitar, the Red Hot Chili Peppers are a fantastic band that has been playing well below their status quo for a decade. It isn’t that I’m With You sounds terrible; the release itself is sonically sensible due to the band’s tremendous chemisty, but this is not enough to save I’m With You from crippling mediocrity. As long as the Chili Peppers are content with crafting the albums that are expected of them as this point in their career, our anticipation for future records should be absent.
2. Factory of Faith
3. Brendan's Death Song
5. Annie Wants a Baby
6. Look Around
7. The Adventures of Rain Dance Maggie
8. Did I Let You Know
9. Goodbye Hooray
10. Happiness Loves Company
11. Police Station
12. Even You Brutus?
13. Meet Me At the Corner
14. Dance, Dance, Dance
The Red Hot Chili Peppers are a funk rock band based in Hollywood, California and was formed in 1983, in Los Angeles, California. The band currently consists of founding members Anthony Kiedis (vocals) and Michael "Flea" Balzary (bass) along with longtime member Chad Smith (drums). Guitarist John Frusciante quietly left the band on good terms in early 2008. On January 2nd 2010 Josh Klinghoffer was announced as Frusciante's replacement.... read more