Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Review: Red Hot Chili Peppers - I'm With You

I must apologize for getting this done later than I anticipated. You can see my reasoning in my last blog update that didn't involve a review or a song.

Red Hot Chili Peppers are the kind of band that only release about four albums in ten years. Linkin Park have released all four of their studio albums since 2000; Interpol have released all four of their studio albums since 2002; The Flaming Lips have released four albums since 1999, marking four albums in 2009 with Embryonic; and Red Hot Chili Peppers have probably had the scarcest amount of releases, with Californication in 1999, By the Way in 2002, Stadium Arcadium in 2006, and now I'm With You in 2011, actually making it 12 years with four albums. So what makes them release their albums so irregularly? Judging from the content on this album, it certainly isn't quality.

All those other bands I mentioned have managed to release four spectacular albums over the course of ten years. With the exception of Interpol's Our Love To Admire, the other three bands I mentioned have had arguably great success with each of those albums. Linkin Park is hugely popular, The Flaming Lips are just excellent, and Interpol has pretty much reached cult status. Of course, RHCP have reached international success despite their lack of releases, but that was for when they were notably good among the other obscure fusion bands.

But what went wrong this time? Most of RHCP's albums have managed to produce at least one absolutely great song that will probably stand the test of time. Blood Sugar Sex Magik has "Under the Bridge," Californication has its title track, Stadium Arcadium has "Dani California," and I'm With You has... what? "The Adventures of Rain Dance Maggie"? A song that, to me, is doomed to obscurity for eternity. A song that is boring and kind of unfortunate. How did this manage to be a single instead of something that's obviously better, like, say, "Monarchy of Roses" or "Brendan's Death Song," or just about any other song on the damn album? Okay, that's not true, there is worse than "Rain Dance Maggie," which is really, really sad.

Don't get me wrong, there is some good stuff here, like the aforementioned "Monarchy of Roses" and "Brendan's Death Song," as well as a few others that will likely end up diamonds in the ruff, or at least quartz. "Even You Brutus?" and "Police Station" round out the rest of the decent songs here, but everything feels like it could have been so much better. It feels like what likely happened was the label decided it was time to make good on their contract, so they pressured RHCP to release a new album, and they pulled something together at the last minute. This probably wasn't the case, and they were likely working on it for much longer than that, but it's so disappointing that a band as great as these guys, with such a huge fan base and a lazy album release schedule, put out something like this.

Overall, I must sadly report that this is for hardcore fans of RHCP only. Those new to the band should look elsewhere for a better album, like Blood Sugar Sex Magic or Stadium Arcadium.

Monarchy of Roses

Brendan's Death Song

Police Station

Even You Brutus?

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