THEY’RE (STILL) RED HOT
While not as ‘overdue’ as my last review, it’s still a bit after the release date of I’m With You, the latest offering from Red Hot Chili Peppers- their tenth album to date.
Before even listening, one wonders how an album without John Frusciante on guitar will sound, but new guitarist Josh Klinghoffer comfortably slots in to the line-up. He has helped them build on their signature style. Some will argue he will never match up to Frusciante, but Josh has a different style altogether; Flea claims, “It’s not so much about the big riff- it’s more subtle, sublime…” and he’s right, it works brilliantly here.
The sound has progressed but it still remains upbeat, with the jazz/funk influence that runs throughout their works. However, what really grabbed me was the lyrics. The meticulous attention paid to rhyming, typical of the Chili’s style, comes into play throughout and though the music sounds incredible you can’t take your ears off Kiedis’ vocals. He defies you to be moved by Brendan’s Death Song and Police Station. Even the faster, ‘happier’ songs pack an emotional punch.
All 14 tracks are nothing short of a delight- once again the band has produced a great work, one that’s a definite contender for album of the year.
Their name is well known, they’re one of the most prolific rock bands of the past 20 years. The album went straight to number one around the world, but there seemed surprisingly little hype about it. Kiedis was featured in Q a couple of months back, but it seems that for a band at their level this album has almost… slipped out unnoticed. But that is perhaps the hidden beauty of it- it may not contain so many obvious ‘anthems’ as their earlier works but it is not to be dismissed. From the first listen, it’s obvious they’re on to something special, further plays only reinforces it.
Fans will complain when a band keeps the same style too long, and complain when they change their sounnd. What RHCP have done is merely capitalise on the sound they have honed for many years now, taking it another step further, and one thing’s for sure- they’re (still) red hot.