Red Hot Chili Peppers still burning
New CDs released Aug. 30 include "I'm With You," by The Red Hot Chili Peppers; "Pull Up Some Dust & Sit Down," by Ry Cooder; "Tha Carter IV," by Lil Wayne; and "Tassili" by Tinariwen.
The Red Hot Chili Peppers, 'I'm With You' (Warner Bros)
"I'm With You" is the Red Hot Chili Peppers' 10th album and their first since losing longtime guitarist and songwriter John Frusciante, but it is hardly a different direction. From the upbeat first single "The Adventures of Rain Dance Maggie" to the final song on the album, "Dance, Dance, Dance," there remains a youthful pop sensibility to the band's brand of funk, and this is their liveliest record in a decade.
New guitarist Josh Klinghoffer holds his own, but the reason this album will be all over the radio is because bassist Flea and drummer Chad Smith are one of the best rhythm sections in rock. On "Ethiopia" they provide the perfect undercurrent to Anthony Kiedis' crooning.
The album's highlight is "Brendan's Death Song," about a booker who gave them their start and recently died. It has a sincerity that some of the upbeat numbers might dance over. For a band that's survived death, drugs — and 30 years — even as they mine a style they've done before, "I'm With You" proves the Peppers very much alive.
Other new releases
Ry Cooder, "Pull Up Some Dust & Sit Down" (Nonesuch)
Tinariwen, "Tassili" (Anti)
Lil Wayne, "Tha Carter IV" (Cash Money)
Note: Lil Wayne performs at the White River Amphi-theatre in Auburn on Sunday.
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