Previously scheduled for release tomorrow, the Red Hot Chili Peppers‘ new album I’m With You is now available.
The band’s first album without guitarist John Frusciante since 1995’s One Hot Minute, the album explores a number of different styles and structures previously unexplored by the band. Album opener Monarchy of Roses kicks things off energetically, with vocalist Anthony Kiedis delivering the same kind of fuzzy vocals that he employed on One Hot Minute‘s Warped. Flea‘s disco-like bass drives the song, while new guitarist Josh Klinghoffer‘s guitar more than makes up for Frusciante’s absence.
The album doesn’t really have the same kind of guitar-led, solo-heavy songs that Frusciante’s work with the band, allowing the work of Flea and drummer Chad Smith to fully be on display. Factory of Faith is a perfect example of this, as Klinghoffer’s guitar doesn’t show up until roughly the thirty-second mark in the song. It’s a funk song, the kind that fans have expected from the band for years, but with a newer edge provided by the emphasis on atmospherics.
Brendan’s Death Song, the band’s touching tribute to a former club owner who gave the band their first real break back in 1983, is one of the album’s strongest moments, and finds the band turning in one of the deeper songs they’ve ever made. It’s somber, it’s melancholy, and it’s a wonderful tribute to a longtime friend of the band.
Look Around sounds primed for the live stage with its high energy and Kiedis’ fast vocals, while Did I Let You Know, with its world beat percussion and gorgeous melodies, is another of the album’s strongest moments.
The 3-song arc of Happiness Loves Company, Police Station and Even You Brutus? is the album’s absolute highlight, demonstrating the band’s ability to truly challenge themselves and come up with some of the most exploratory, experimental songs they’ve ever created. Piano work drives Happiness Loves Company, with Kiedis singing about young lovers in the streets of L.A., while Police Station is a story-based song that could be the RHCP’s take on Bob Dylan songwriting. It sounds like a throwback song they could have made in the mid 1990s, which is saying a lot.
Even You Brutus? is a challenging affair, pianos leading into a bluesy stomp with Kiedis shouting his lyrics over a bouncy rhythm. It’s really one of the most off-kilter and “out of their comfort zone” songs the Peppers have ever made, and it’s great.
Tomorrow, Tuesday August 30th, fans can tune in to FUSE TV to watch the Peppers’ performance from the Roxy in Hollywood, shot last Monday. Go here for all that information, and make sure to catch some of their blistering performance.
The album is in stores today, so go pick it up if you’ve ever liked a song by them, as the new record has something for all kinds of fans, diehard and casual alike.