Ever since their debut in the 80s, the Red Hot Chili Peppers have proved to be one of the most successful bands out there. To be quite honest, they are one of the very few bands out there that have me still looking forward to their new albums.
It has been 5 years since they last made an album and no one can blame them; Stadium Arcadium, their double album released in 2006, had 28 tracks! I am not aware of any musicians nowadays capable of pulling off 28 tracks in 1 album.
I’m With You, which was released last August, received positive reviews from critics and several tracks specifically were highly acclaimed; the most important of which were “Happiness Loves Company”, “Annie Wants a Baby”, and “Police Station”.
According to an article in Spin Magazine, Flea, the band’s bassist, pointed out that “life and death is a major theme of the album” which can be noticed in several tracks such as “Brendan’s Death Song”, a song dedicated to Brendan Mullen who passed away in 2009. Brendan was a club promoter and the band’s autobiographer, and more importantly a friend of the band before their debut.
Many speculations have been raised prior to the release of I’m With You regarding the departure of John Frusciante, the band’s guitarist, and the effect his departure would have on their music.
Frusciante’s input will indeed be missed; the fact that you can’t hear his unique voice singing along in the background (a Red Hot Chili Peppers trademark) is a downer. I can’t say that Red Hot Chili Peppers without Frusciante are the same, but make no mistake, when you’re listening to I’m with you, you’re still listening to the brilliant Red Hot Chili Peppers.
Josh Klinghoffer, the band’s new guitarist, had big - and I mean really big - shoes to fill. Nevertheless, he managed to make his mark on the band through several tracks such as “The Monarchy of Roses” and “Factory of Faith”.
One negative comment I’ve been hearing about the album though is “how mainstream” it is and how it’s “being too commercial”. However as far as I’m concerned, good music is good music; if you like the way it sounds, then it is good!