Category: Red Hot Chili Peppers

Album review: Red Hot Chili Peppers' 'I'm With You'

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The yin and the yang of music and lyrics in rock is a complicated swirl, one within which the Red Hot Chili Peppers have struggled to find balance throughout their career. On the band's 10th studio album, and first with new guitarist Josh Klinghoffer, longtime band mates Anthony Kiedis, Flea and Chad Smith create an album that's way stronger musically than it is lyrically.

But that's nothing new. Over the years they've ridden through the Hollywood Hills on saber-tooth horses, conversed with dolphins and witnessed first-born unicorns. This time Kiedis proposes to a lover like this: “Be my wife/ I think you're right/ we should mate.” Not the most romantic guy, is he?

The band has always made up for verbal shortcomings by going non sequitur and crazy, both lyrically and musically. There's no arguing with Flea, nor the rhythm section, nor the band's tastes in guitarists.

“I'm With You,” though, is a mishmash, lacks a center, and way too often feels duct-taped together from various points in the band's career. (Though “Monarch of Roses” may be their first disco song.) Nestled within the hour-long, 14-song album is an EP's worth of Peppers awesomeness, including “Brendan's Death Song,” one of the best of the band's career, and “The Adventures of Rain Dance Maggie,” which features a cowbell and a crazy midtrack breakdown.

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Red Hot Chili Peppers unveil Venice Beach video for 'Rain Dance'

Red Hot Chili Peppers on a Venice rooftop

It never rains in Southern California, if the popular American songbook is to be believed, so it's no surprise that the Red Hot Chili Peppers were met with only a postcard-perfect twilight scene for their relatively impromptu Venice Beach video shoot.

The band took over a boardwalk-adjacent Ocean Front Walk rooftop for its "The Adventures of Rain Dance Maggie" clip, the first single from the band's forthcoming "I'm With You," due Aug. 30, and it apparently "went off like an evening at the opera," according to an on-the-scene report from Venice311.

All looks calm and easygoing in the Marc Klasfeld-directed clip, which matches the slow-groove feel of the song. It's reflective of an older, more relaxed Chili Peppers, but still a shirtless one. The video, embedded below, hit the Web on Wednesday, and the single has sold a total of 105,000 downloads, according to Nieslsen SoundScan. 

This isn't, however, the only video for "Rain Dance Maggie," as the band originally tapped YouTube star Kreayshaw (of "Gucci Gucci" fame) to direct the clip. As she told MTV News of meeting Chili Peppers frontman Antony Kiedis, "I talked to Anthony a couple times and he was like, 'I want to do a couple changes to the video,' but all the changes he had were, like, stuff we were already doing with the video, like slow-motion and stuff. So I was like, 'We're dialed in.' "

There's no slow-motion stuff in the Venice Beach clip, but Kiedis, as expected, certainly has some creative interpretations for a modern rain dance.

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