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


Emma Mackintosh

Red Hot Chili Peppers
I’m With You
Warner Bros - out now

AFTER speaking with friends, I think I’m probably alone in my thoughts on the latest Red Hot Chili Peppers album ‘I’m With You’.
But, frankly, there is nothing red or hot about these Chili Peppers. I’m sorry to say this, but new album ‘I’m With You’ could have been written and performed by Take That.

It has been 20 years since the stonking ‘Blood Sex Sugar Majik’ and this band are feeling every minute of those years as they reel out what has to be their sleepiest, most inoffensive album to date.

Think back to the mad-cap music video for ‘Give It Away Now’ and you probably wouldn’t recognise the Anthony Kiedis of 2011, rhyming ‘cheeky’ with ‘Mozambique-y’ and sounding for all the world like this is a rehearsal, rather than the real thing.

Kiedis’ lyrics have always been slightly weird and (if you look too closely) ridiculous, but up until now no one actually cared. On 2002’s ‘By The Way’ he sang about hot dogs, for goodness sake, and people loved it. That was because ‘By The Way’ had drive, purpose, a direction. Hell, it had funk.

Not so on ‘I’m With You’ - the first eight tracks could be scrapped as the album doesn’t even get going until track nine, ‘Goodbye Hooray’, which echoes their previous form.

But it’s a shame when an album is little more than echo of former glory. Previous RHCP releases have at least been brash and edgy, the kind of thing your parents would ask you to turn down or even switch off altogether.

I can imagine that the target audience for ‘I’m With You’ is going to be those very people who once derided the Chili Peppers as too noisy, now that they’ve “toned it down”.

Welcome to the middle of the road; I sincerely hope this is just a temporary detour.

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