By Kakky Dye
You’ve probably heard the catchy song “The Adventures of Rain Dance Maggie” pop on your radio station lately. It’s hard to believe that it’s been half a decade since the last Red Hot Chili Peppers album, “Stadium Arcadium,” was released.
A lot has changed about this band in the past five years. Lead guitarist John Frusciante, the man responsible for giving the band its unique funky rock sound has left the band.
He’s been replaced by Josh Klinghoffer, whose past experience includes working with Gnarls Barkley and Beck, who luckily fits perfectly with the band’s sound. He blends with the beach-like melody and eccentric rock chords that Frusciante once brought to the band. He blends with the beach-like melody and eccentric rock chords that John Frusciante once brought to the band.
While they still deliver the same type of rock melody, there seems to be some truth to drummer Chad Smith’s statement that “this album is the start of a new band.”
Whether it is the shift in guitarists or simply a melody makeover, something about this album is different. This band has held the reputation as defiant and dangerous in their melody, lyrics and concerts. They once shocked and awed fans by bringing hip-hop to the world of punk rock and nudity to live shows. Now, it seems they have found their comfort zone and cannot escape the predictability of their own music.
The music in this new album is rhythmically catching, but is lacking in the lyrics department. While the song “The Adventures of Rain Dance Maggie” is catchy, the lyrics are less inspired. Lines such as, “Tick tock I want to rock you like the eighties / cock blocking isn’t allowed” lack the sophistication of previous efforts like the clever “Snow (Hey Oh)” from their previous album “Stadium Arcadium.” Perhaps Frusciante is the reason for the lack of lyrics. He contributed to many of the band’s previous hits.
However, even if the lyrics pale in comparison to previous albums, the sound still offers something for every RHCP fan, from an upbeat pop-rock song about happiness to a funeral song the band wrote about a close friend who passed away.
Their characteristic easygoing mid-tempo shines in “Happiness Loves Company,” a feel-good tune that has a simple, but relatable theme behind it. “The Adventures of Rain Dance Maggie” succeeds for the same reason. As the first single off the album, “Maggie” captures the mood of the album well with its sunny funky punk rock melody.
Even though the same musical vibe makes the album enjoyable, the lack of depth to the songs makes it hard for the album to stand up against “Stadium Arcadium” or “Californication.” “I’m With You” will satisfy the old fans, but most likely won’t make any new ones.
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