Red Hot Chili Peppers
I'm With You

1. Monarchy of Roses
2. Factory of Faith
3. Brendan's Death Song
4. Ethiopia
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

Flea – bass, piano, keyboards, backing vocals
Anthony Kiedis – lead vocals
Josh Klinghoffer – guitars, keyboards, six-string bass, backing vocals
Chad Smith – drums, percussion

The Red Hot Chili Peppers (1984)
Freaky Styley (1985)
The Uplift Mofo Party Plan (1987)
Mother's Milk (1989)
Blood Sugar Sex Magik (1991)
One Hot Minute (1995)
Californication (1999)
By the Way (2002)
Stadium Arcadium (2006)

Mike Bulger – trumpet (8)
Greg Kurstin – piano (9, 11, 12)
Money Mark – Hammond B3 organ (6)
Mauro Refosco – percussion (all except 3, 9, 13)
Lenny Castro – percussion (3, 9, 13), additional percussion (1, 2, 4, 12, 14)

Phillip Broussard Jr. – Assistant engineer
Greg Fidelman – mixing (1, 2, 12)
Jason Gossman – Programming, sequencing & editing
Ryan Hewitt – Engineer
Chris "Hollywood" Holmes – Editing
Sara Lynn Killion – Assistant engineer
Vlado Meller – mastering
Dana Nielsen – Programming, sequencing & editing
Rick Rubin – production
Mark Santangelo - mastering assistant
Andrew Scheps – mixing
Ken Sluiter – Assistant engineer
Additional personnel
Clara Balzary – album photography
Damien Hirst – art direction[31]
Prudence Cuming Associates – album photography
Stephane Sednaoui – album photography

Released 31/8-2011
Reviewed 21/9-2011


The complexity of Red Hot Chili Peppers and the richness in all this has fascinated a whole world for decades now, and when things were at its best for about ten years ago, they made multi platinum sales all over the world. The most successful album of them all is 'Californication' - an album that's sold about 20 million copies and the latest has, despite illegal downloading and all those kind of excuses sold about ten million copies (so far) and reached at least double platinum in the US, UK, Canada, Australia and EU. This is the return of Red Hot Chili Peppers, their first album in five years and once again we've found them peaking charts all over the world with platinum certifications awaiting, I'm sure of that. And once again the whole world stands on the outside looking confused and incomprehensed - how the hell are they doing it?

Earlier this year I celebrated Electric Boys for their come back album, called 'And Them Boys Done Swang' and in my opinion them and the Chili Peppers are the closest rekated bands to one another. The Red Hots are not quite as heavy as the Boys but their albums are often considerable better produced and radio friendly, at least lately. In the beginning of their careers though, these bands were as close to each other as Sweden and Switzerland but with success comes change and for Red Hot Chili Peppers this has moved them much closer to the stream called Penobscot River (the longest stream in Maine). The last couple of albums has become softer and compared to the heavy and angry band full of energy that could destroy anything they could find on stage in the 80's and early 90's this is very different. Back then they were very wild, it's easy to forget when you listen to 'I'm With You' because even though this album have a lot of the characteristics of the band, it comes with lower tempo, less bass, is less aggressive and not even close to as wild. Instead the songs on 'I'm With You' are calm, relaxed, laid back and nice to hear regardless of where yo have your focus - on the album or on something else. It's funk-light and civilized… tidy. Almost beautiful at times. Now and then almost with samba rhythms, but held back enough to fit in an office. I get an image of a family with children living in a modern, architect designed luxury house. You might find some toys laying around the otherwise so artistic house with everything put in order to create an illusion so much that you don't know if you even can use the chairs or cook something in the kitchen… or if it's only there to look at.

The sound quality is, despite a few parts in the first song where they've purposely have distorted the sound, sharp as a scalpel. There's no need for detours to get inside our ears - everything gets straight to our ears where the sound uses their scalpel sharp quality to literally cut itself inside our heads. However, I get somewhat disappointed by how the album is mixed. I think the otherwise so lightning sharp bass sound isn't thundering through the way it usually do. It's like it gets forgotten and only get to come out and play with the other instruments in some of the tracks. Like in Factory of Faith and Ethiopia, which both happens to be some of the best tracks on the album. I remember the fuss in the 90's when "Flea" could do live shows completely nude behind his bass. Should that happen after this album, I'd completely drop my jaw to the ground because this feels so sophisticated and almost neat. They even use the piano and plays instruments like trumpet and a hammond. Not only in ballads. Instead they are here and there all over the album, just like all there beautiful low-tempo parts with melodic vocals and similar cultivated elements. Sure I recognize the band, men they are not what they haver been on this album… but that doesn't matter to me, because this sounds very good!

Red Hot Chili Peppers have always been such a unique band with much energy and feeling. On 'I'm With You' I get the impression of a band that's settled down and only kept the feeling from before. I can absolutely enjoy their calm, toned down songs like Annie Wants A Baby and Did I Let You Know despite the fact that I like their faster and more rocking songs like Look Around and Dance.Dance.Dance. The band have put a new guitarist among them, but honestly I don't think his presence has done any change at all. I think the band would have come here regardless of Frusciante staying or going. Sure, the guitars are muck more lame now than ever, but so is the drums, the bass and the tempo. This is quite simply Red Hot Chili Peppers in a house somewhere in the suburbs, taking their children to soccer practice and helping them with homework. Not the restless 20-years old that vandalized every club in L A. Sure, they've always had slow songs, but this is close to a full hour where almost every song is slow and everything sounds softer. A Red Hot Chili Peppers customized for the fact that much of their audience are aging above 40.

As an album I find this as a very good, nice album. As a Red Hot Chili Peppers album, I can't help but get somewhat disappointed. Not because it's bad in any way, but because it lacks so much heaviness and energy compared to what we're used to. It's definitely right to call it development - a step forward or to the side - because it feels like a new phase in their career has begun. If you will become disappointed, as happy as always or even happier when you hear it? I guess there's only one way to find out...



Label: Warner Music
Three similar bands: Electric Boys/Faith No More/Stone Antica
Rating: HHHHHHH (6/7)
Reviewer: Caj Källmalm

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