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Friday, July 29, 2011

The Adventures of Rain Dance Maggie

I would like to start by mentioning that I’m a guitarist who has been playing for over 14 years, and a lot of what I’ve played over the years has been greatly influenced by the Red Hot Chili Peppers. I have always loved their combination of funk, rock, punk, and the ability to generate some of the catchiest songs ever written. Despite my love for them, I’m genuinely worried about their next album, I’m With You.
                        
With all due respect, and I mean with all due respect, “The Adventures of Rain Dance Maggie” is terrible. Okay, let’s be fair, it’s not the worst song ever written, but after 5 years of wondering whether RHCP would ever write music again, this is the song they release? It’s almost as bad as “Original Fire” coming out ahead of Audioslave’s Revelations album. For those of you who forgot about that, you’re the lucky ones. I still think about that atrocity every time I hear Chris Cornell’s voice.

So why is “The Adventures of Rain Dance Maggie” so bad? I mean, it has cowbell, Flea, and the Red Hot Chili Pepper’s name behind it. Unfortunately it also has terrible lyrics and it lacks John Frusciante. Kiedis was always good at compensating for bad lyrics by singing fast or having the other band members harmonize, and when there were great lyrics, he would belt them out. This time, he attempts to belt out subpar lyrics and his voice doesn’t have the same power anymore. As for the guitar part, it’s mediocre at best, and the solo is a pathetic attempt to emulate Frusciante over a span of 17 seconds by playing a few notes with a chorus effect. Josh Klinghoffer, if you’re reading this, listen to me. Play your own style. Frusciante was one of the more revolutionary guitarists of the past couple of decades, so trying to copy his sound will only lead to disappointment.

Overall, the song doesn’t strike me as memorable, and it has no attitude or presence, which was always the best aspect of the Chili Pepper’s music. I still have my hopes up for my favorite band, but if “I’m With You” is an album full of “The Adventure of Rain Dance Maggie”s, you won’t see me in line to buy it. I’ll just keep listening to Californication.

You can listen to the song on youtube here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H8QoB3sifzw

Carlin with Music

13 comments:

  1. If you are only worried about the album having 14 Maggies then you shouldn't worry.
    Everything I've heard about The Adventures of Rain Dance Maggie was that it was just a jam that was supposed to be a B-side. Apparently other people liked it so much they decided to put it on the album and as a single.
    Because of that I would assume that its not the strongest song or best lyrics.

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  2. R. Alex Jordan-
    Thanks for the insight. I've done some research and I've heard similar rumors. Still, for me, Frusciante was such an integral part of the band, and I don't know which direction they'll take now. One Hot Minute with Navarro wasn't the worst thing ever produced, but I question whether or not the members of the band still have the same energy they used to.

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  3. I agree that the song is not particularly memorable. It feels like it should have built up to something bigger. I'm also not a big fan of the guitar solo. But I do like the guitar in the rest of the song. I don't get why you say Klinghoffer is copying Frusciante though. He clearly pays homage to him, but there is definately a noticable difference. Also, Kiedis's lyrics don't sound any different than usual. I enjoy the fact that they are staying true to their roots and allowing themselves to be inspired by new things. And there was more funk in this than we're used to lately, which was nice. Just my 2 cents.
    Personally, I feel that while the song is definately not their best work, it's better than By The Way and Tell Me Baby. I think it's a good indication that they are still heading in a good direction and I'm With You will be a success, but I do hope they have stronger songs on the album.

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  4. The main noticeable difference between the guitar styles to me is the added weak sauce in Klinghoffer's. There's nothing really terrible about his playing, it just seems boring to me. And although I do like the comparatively funky sound vs. the overproduced sound of most of Stadium Arcadium, it seems like its too slow and it doesn't have any power behind it. I would agree with you that this would probably fall under a similar category with "By The Way" and "Tell Me Baby", but at least both of those songs were upbeat and exciting (not well written in general though I would agree).

    I do think that if they stay true to their roots like you mentioned, I'm With You will be a great album, but I'm not convinced that the other songs will necessarily follow that pattern.

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  5. I wouldn't necessarily say Kilnghoffer's guitar is weak, but that may be just personal preference. But it is definately not as pronounced as Frusciante's playing. I think that may be a big change in the album. If Klinghoffer can keep this up and give us better solos in the rest of the tracks, then he is a worthy successor in my book.

    Also, I think you misunderstood what I said about By The Way and Tell Me Baby. They do have a similar pop chorus, but thats not what I was getting at. I was expressing my opinion that Maggie is better than both of those songs. Mainly for the funk, which we can both agree is very welcome after Stadium Arcadium - although I wouldn't go so far as to say SA had an overproduce sound.

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  6. We can agree to disagree about Klinghoffer, and I'll do my best to keep an open mind about the rest of the album once it's released.

    And I can understand why you would like it more than those two songs, it's really a matter of personal preference, as some people (and the radio stations) tend to prefer the pop sound. I will agree that Maggie is more musical, although the lyrics aren't really much better.

    As for Stadium Arcadium, I didn't mean overproduced as a way of saying I disliked it, perhaps that was a poor word choice. I simply meant that it had a very different sound than that of traditional Chili Peppers' music. I personally think that Stadium Arcadium was extremely well produced as the songs flow in a logical fashion, and although I wasn't an early adopter, I think it's a great album.

    All in all, I think that it's a given that this album will sell very well regardless of what's on it, I'm just hoping that once it floods the radio, the songs are actually worth listening to. Like I said, I'll do my best to keep an open mind.

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  7. By the way, thanks for the insightful comments!

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  8. same here. Boring track !

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  9. Its nice to find someone on the internet who can actually handle a friendly debate.

    As you said, some things just come down to personal preference so we can just agree to disagree.

    But now that you've clarified, I actually agree with you about SA. And I'm With You.

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  10. Thanks, I feel the same. Most people on the web try to be douches because they never see anyone face to face. Here at allourblogs, our philosophy is to share our ideas and opinions and then have constructive debates in order to educate ourselves and others. If anybody is interested in that (which I think some people will be), we'd really appreciate it if you would follow us or like us on Facebook. Even if you just like individual posts, +1 them so that we can understand more about what people want to read.

    Thank you very much,
    Carlin

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  11. Just wait for the damn album to come out before you throw it all out in the trash. I just saw them perform the song live and it translates better on stage. Plus the song has been growing on me. Didn't like it at much first but now I do. The new songs sound different...so maybe it will be an exciting new addition to their catalog? Check out some you tube videos from their secret show in Nevada City, CA for some new material performed. Not best audio but gives you a good idea.

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  12. I watched the Youtube videos, and I will admit that I was impressed with their energy, they definitely still have it, and I hope I have the opportunity to see them live. However, live shows are always more exciting, and if the song is meant to be played live that's fine, but it doesn't make the studio recording any better. Like I've said, the song isn't terrible and I'm keeping an open mind about the album. From watching the videos, their tour should be awesome (as long as Klinghoffer can pull it together and let the music flow: he made quite a few mistakes and he seemed pretty rigid on stage in the videos I watched). Thanks for the comment and the info.

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  13. As an amateur (and mediocre) singer, I would just add that this is the easiest Chili Pepper track I've ever tried to sing. Neither speed nor range really challenge me, and I suspect the same is true for AK. This is a fun tune, but one that RHCP could 1) get on the radio quickly; and 2) perform publicly without straining AK's aging vocal chords. I think it fits with their existing repertoire, encourages the mainstream listener to buy the new album, and does not reveal their age! These guys still sound youthful, even if the guitar, vocals, and lyrics don't challenge you. I think the guys are at a stage of life they just want to keep in touch with their youth. Perhaps we will hear some "older & wiser" sounds from them on future albums' first releases, but for now, I'm impressed they sound like they can still keep up with teenagers and the college scene!

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