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Red Hot Chili Peppers – I’m With You review

Red Hot Chili Peppers. They hardly need an introduction, and yet something is different this time around. I’m With You, their latest contribution to the world of enthusiastic funk-rock, is merry and carries itself rather well. Five years and a new guitarist after Stadium Arcadium (Josh Klinghoffer replaced John Frusciante), the Peppers haven’t really changed much. There were some threats about serious themes of life and death, but in what should be welcome news to Peppers fans around the globe, there seems to be no sign of newfound maturity or wisdom in this album either. Of course, in no way does this mean that the album is anything less than entertaining.

The album begins with “Monarchy of Roses”, probably the most musically sound and unique song of the set. Opening with a chaotic onslaught of guitar and drums, the song quickly settles into a fun, disco-themed refrain. “Factory of Faith” is predictable and even the rap/spoken word section is remarkably uninteresting. “Brendan’s Death Song” is probably the highlight of the album, starting with acoustic guitar and tenderness, and building into a full-on collision of sound.

Perpetually juvenile, RHCP have managed to hold on to their self-identification as young, shirtless California- and sex-obsessed musicians. Irrepressible in their infectious enthusiasm, they betray no awareness of the fact that time has, indeed passed since their career began. On “Ethiopia” they unabashedly yell what sounds like an alternative version of “Old McDonald Had a Farm”. “Goodbye Hooray” is upbeat and guitarist Klinghoffer basks in the glory of fantastically executed riffs that cement the appropriateness of his position in the group.

“Happiness Loves Company” has anthem potential, complete with marching beat and inspiration mantras. The Belle and Sebastian-esque “Police Station” is light and nonchalant, ending in glorious triumph.

I’m With You betrays no hint of coming from an aging group of middle-aged men. Adolescence and irreverent oblivion shine in this offering from a band that defined a generation – and if they continue to put out albums like this one, they may have a few more years of influence and affection-inspiring ahead of them.

By Nivedita Gunturi

Nivedita Gunturi is a medical intern and freelance writer. She is wrapping up her medical studies and is preparing for a residency in internal medicine. When she's not in the hospital, she can be found experimenting in the kitchen, in a coffee shop reading anything from the Economist to Herman Hesse, or writing about music, art, books and food. Or other random things. Follow her on her blog or on twitter @made2lovemagic

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