I’m With You has thrown away the hard hitting funk, instead keeping to soft emotional tracks of death and late life. Seems to be the way of aging rock groups, as the music ages with the group. Except for Weezer. Rivers has the Peter Pan syndrome. Chicks and happy dancing for all. But I do miss the funk.
I’m With You felt like a fizzle at first, flat tracks which almost felt empty. Opener ‘Monarchy of Roses’ sets a promising tone, but it quickly descends into moody tracks with the funky guitar keeping in time with the voice and drums, rather than blaring out with the power of youth. Once ‘The Adventures Of Rain Dance Maggie’ kicks in, the more sombre tone shows its fruits of labour, and the album finishes up being different, but still good. Saxophone solos and background female singing really add some character to the music. Maybe not great though, it reminds me a little of Pearl Jam’s last album ‘Backspacer’, but not as pretentious and hard to stomach after repeat listens. Sometimes it is better when an album awakens as something decent, rather than blowing it all on the first hearing.
I’m With You awakens the more you put it on. It isn’t the Chili’s of old, but the evolution over the years has been clear they want to tackle a more mature sound. The funk lies in the background, and they don’t come across as desperate old men clinging onto a band past it. Not quite as strikingly memorable, but it has a fair share of tracks which sink in nicely.