By Ryan Considine–
The Red Hot Chili Peppers released their first studio album since 2006, “I’m With You” on August 30, 2011. The album marks the band’s’ 10th studio album release and contains 14 brand new songs including their new hit single, “The Adventures of Rain Dance Maggie” which instantly reached No. 1 on the Billboard Rock Songs chart in its second week after being released.
“I’m With You” features new guitarist Josh Klinghoffer who replaced former veteran guitar player John Frusciante, who had been with the band for over 15 years. Frusciante decided to leave the band in 2008 after stating he wanted to head in a new direction and in an interview in 2008 he claimed he was on a “different hiatus.” Losing Frusciante was a difficult process for the band both emotionally and instrumentally. Frusciante was with the Chili Peppers when they received their most commercial success, recording Grammy award-winning albums such as “Californication” and “Stadium Arcadium” and ranked in Rolling Stones “Top 100 Guitarists” at No. 18.
Of course the impact Frusciante had on the Red Hot Chili Peppers will never be replaced, being one of the most innovative, ingenious guitar players of our generation but the Chili Peppers are turning over a new leaf with guitarist Josh Klinghoffer. Klinghoffer is long-time friends with ex-guitar player John Frusciante, contributing in several of his solo albums, and toured with the Chili Peppers in 2007. The Chili Peppers knew there was no better fit than Klinghoffer after assessing many other different guitar players, especially because he is considered a close friend and great guitarist. Klinghoffer contributes heavily on their new album placing in his own style with lead guitar, keyboards and back-up vocals. Although Klinghoffer’s style is present throughout the album, the main focus is still Flea’s outstanding bass playing and Chad Smith’s dynamic drum beats.
It is evident that Flea has dramatically improved as a bass player. Along with Flea’s outstanding bass lines, he also drops in some jazzy trumpet playing in groovy songs such as “Did I Let you Know,” a catchy island groove with some psychedelic guitar riffs near the end, and some impressive piano tracks such as “Happiness Loves Company” and “Police Station.” Kiedis sings, “I saw you at the police station and it breaks my heart to say. Your eyes had wandered off to something distant, cold and grey.” About 50 percent of the songs include Flea dropping down a bass line in the introduction followed by Chad Smith’s heavy drum riffs, displaying the strong points of the band. Klinghoffer contributes to the album but not to the same extent as Frusciante, who would be almost impossible to replace. Maybe the Chili Peppers do not feel quite as confident yet with Klinghoffer. Overall, the album is another great success in a long and successful career. For those die-hard Chili Peppers fans that won’t accept change, give it a chance. It may not be exactly what you expect but it’s definitely worth listening to.
Photo courtesy of Warner Brothers