Red Hot Chili Peppers

Tough pop fusion meets soulful balladry

I’m With You

It’s safe to say one person who hasn’t been eagerly anticipating the first LP in five years from RHCP is Nick Cave. ‘I’m forever near a stereo, saying, “What the f**k is this garbage?” he once said. ‘And the answer is always the Red Hot Chili Peppers.’ That might be overly harsh, but we must admit we can’t stomach Anthony Kiedis’s colourless and cold, flinty voice and the praise first awarded Californication still has us furrowing our brow. Millions, of course, will forever beg to disagree.

Minus guitarist John Frusciante, who quit in 2009, their 10th sees RHCP edging out the boss-rock in favour of a tough pop fusion and ‘soulful’ balladry. There are echoes of a trip to Africa in ‘Ethiopia’ and ‘Did I Let You Know’ (in which ‘cheeky’ is rhymed with ‘Mozambique-y’), while Kiedis wrecks the atmospherics of ‘The Adventures of Rain Dance Maggie’ with his whining ‘heeey, now’ hook. It’s a record redolent of Reef and Toploader – all up, rather like a shouty fart.

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