California State University East Bay

The Pioneer

California State University East Bay

The Pioneer

California State University East Bay

The Pioneer

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Red Hot Chili Peppers: We’re So With You

Bassist Flea and lead singer Anthony Kiedis performing “I’m With You” hit single “The Adventures of Rain Dance Maggie” for their official video at Venice Beach, CA rooftop.

After five quiet years, the Peppers are back. Red Hot, and still oh so ready to rock.

The new album, “I’m With You”, which was officially released August 29 in the United States, is a much deeper, poetic version of the Red Hot Chili Peppers of years previous, with 14 songs confirming the Peppers can transform their sound while still maintaining the uniqueness we all fell in love with way back in 1991.

Though the album features a much more subtle, sublime, poetic texture of playing for the Peppers, they maintain a contemporary sound to their persistently funky, jazzy and experimental rock undertones.

The Red Hot Chili Peppers are synonymous with tatted, shirtless, underwear bearing, drug-addicted, crazy haired and constantly jumping, rapping-rock stars.

Twenty-eight years later, they’re wearing pants, sober, but definitely still at the top of their game.

With the departure of guitarist John Frusciante in 2009, whose electrifying guitar riffs and innovative melodically-driven technique defined their recent albums, many felt the band would not survive.

Enter Josh Klinghoffer, a recurring guest guitarist for the band since the final few legs of their “Stadium Arcadium” tour in 2007, who with being 17 years younger than the other three, his creative and original approach to the band is definitely noticeable throughout their tenth album.

Although they don’t feel as hard and as punk as before, the new sound is refreshing and intriguing to see the always spicy band reinvent themselves and show adaptability and growth.

Long gone seem to be the days of “Give It Away,” “Around the World” and “Suck My Kiss,” where always thrilling lead singer Anthony Kiedis energetically exercised his multiple vocal talents with quick-paced spoken verse and rapping, as “I’m With You” displays Kiedis’s controlled melodic vocals more so than his raps.

Though at times, the album feels repetitive and lacking center, “I’m With You” is still a successful continuation of their trademark sound and an exploration of several styles for the adventurous quartet.

The album’s first single, “The Adventures of Rain Dance Maggie,” has everything you want from the band, with the goofy but clever come-ons only Keidis can pull off, a creeping bass line by Michael “Flea” Balzary and rhythmic drum bangs through Chad Smith.

The song is definitely catchy, combining traditional Peppers rhythmic energy and a cool disco feel with Klinghoffer’s effortless and pulsing loops.

Standout songs include “Ethiopia,” “Annie Wants a Baby,” “Look Around,” and “Police Station” among a few others, with the band exploring African beats and pop spins on classic Chili Peppers funk and heavily delving into themes of life, death and sorrow.

“Brendan’s Death Song” is powerful, sweet, captivating and quite possibly the best song from the album.

Kiedis’ vocals have never sounded better and Klinghoffer’s textured and balanced strokes offer poignancy to the song.

As the ballad dedicated to the band’s longtime friend who played a central figure in the 80s L.A. punk scene that spawned the Peppers, the song exposes the sentiment and heart behind the band, which is something fairly new for the generally sexed lyrics they’re used to.

Although it’s a new sound and one that hardcore fans might not find appealing quite just yet, if nothing else the Peppers show they can still play creative and great tunes, adapting to the decades new sound but holding true to their roots.

They are still high-octane and groovy, sunny pop and jazzy, and “I’m With You” is a continuation of their growth from the macho, sexed-up lyrics of “Party on Your Pussy” days to now still oh-so-cool respected veterans.

It’s a new Peppers with their old school elements. It’s a reinvention of their genius, in a fresh new approach to simply good music.

It’s a new beginning, and we’re so with it.

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Red Hot Chili Peppers: We’re So With You