Five years have passed since we last heard new music from the RHCP. Things have changed, for one they have a new lead guitarist, Josh Klinghoffer, taking the place of virtuoso John Frusciante. The new album, I’m With You, sounds like the RHCP, but overall the vibe is more laid back. It is not as daring a work as it’s predecessor, the double-disc Stadium Arcadium, but it is consistently quality work from start to finish. Veteran RHCP producer and musical guru, Rick Rubin is back at the helm, guiding the band as it redefines old chemistries and creates new ones with Klinghoffer. Klinghoffer is not Frusciante and does not try to be. The guitar work has certainly been downplayed. The member that really shines on this album is drummer, Chad Smith. His beats are fun and the drum’s production quality is great. He’s never sounded better. Frontman Anthony Kiedis for the most part has given up on rapping his lyrics and continues to grow as a singer. Lastly, there is Flea, the sold backbone behind the RHCP’s signature groove.
If I were to describe I’m With You in one word, it would be “pleasant.” This is the RHCP’s in transition, but still making quality music. Essential tracks are opening track “Monarchy of Roses” with its Blondie-esque disco synth, the understatedly beautiful “Police Station” and then the single “The Adventures of Rain Dance Maggie.”