New Red Hot Chili Peppers Delivers
The new Red Hot Chili Peppers album, “I’m With You,” delivers on any number of levels, but most importantly as an “album.” It’s a cohesive bunch of songs, that while they do not carry a consistent theme, carry a consistent sound.
The new Red Hot project carries all sorts of experimentation, yet it all fits together like an audio puzzle. Let’s “get the elephant in the room” out in the open; that would be new guitarist Josh Klinghoffer. The guitar part in the Chili Peppers has almost always carried almost a secondary roll, flavoring the tunes rather than leading them. That much has not changed. What has changed is the sound brought by the player, and it all goes back to one of the Chili Peppers main influences, Jimi Hendrix. While previous guitarist John Frusciante’s tones and phrasing sometimes echoed mid-period Hendrix, Klighoffer takes a spacer, later day Hendrix feel. His solos and parts sneak in and in many cases build to a melodic roar. Simply put, Klinghoffer not only fits, he was the perfect guy for the job.
As for the songs rock, funk and even disco are all part of the Chili Peppers stew. The opening track “Monarchy of Roses” starts with a Hendrix inspired freak out and then shifts into a melodic disco/rock jam. “Brendon’s Death Song” may by the most hopeful “eulogy” song ever written. “Look Around” sounds like a radio single, while “Did I Let You Know” is fast, fast funk. “Even You Brutus” is one of my favorites even though it’s a little bizarre-it’s like as if the Chili Peppers had a track on the Beatles “Sgt. Peppers” album.
I guess the best way to wrap up this review is: don’t buy the Chili Peppers single(s), buy the entire album. Not only is it a great album, this is truly a case where 1+1= 3, as in everything songs better within the context of the album.