Red Hot Chili Peppers’ new album affirms band’s iconic status – The Oswegonian
By Lauren Royce
The Red Hot Chili Peppers (“Can’t Stop”) are back with a new album called “Unlimited Love,” and although it was released on April 1, there’s no joke. The Chili Peppers came out swinging after reuniting with guitarist John Frusciante who left the band in 2009 but returned in 2019. The reunion, however, has more than the band members themselves getting emotional. “Black Summer”, the first single which was released on February 4, has more than 26 million views on YouTube and thousands of comments expressing praise and joy at the return of the group’s lead guitarist.
Their signature blend of grunge and psychedelic rock hasn’t waned in popularity at all, as the song became the Chili Peppers’ 14th number-one single on the Billboard charts, according to Billboard. The band “Californication” sounds louder than ever in the song as frontman Anthony Kiedis sings “Been a long time since I’ve made a new friend/Waiting on another Black Summer to end.”
Of course, that’s not the only standout track from this stellar album. With 17 songs, it lasts 73 minutes. “Here Ever After” is catchy, upbeat and totally shredded, reminding us that the band has been around since 1983. “It’s Only Natural” is the longest track at five and a half minutes, showing the band’s more sensual side with more rhythmic beats. slow and more distorted guitar. The instrumental work on this particular track is phenomenal, as each chord reveals Frusciante’s musical mastery.
Let’s not forget Flea on bass guitar, who continues to shine as a musician adding body and depth to every Chili Peppers song. Drummer Chad Smith also deserves praise for his precision and excellent rhythm control, especially on “Poster Child,” which has a music video that is truly reminiscent of the early days of the Chili Peppers. Its colorful spray paint animation perfectly matches the meandering sounds of the guitar and the staccato of Kiedis’ vocals.
The tracks on the album feature interesting titles, true to the style and nature of the Chili Peppers. “Aquatic Mouth Dance” has a funk-rock sound to match its name, very lightly incorporating disco vibes as the chorus comes in, but leaning more towards jazz towards the end. It’s the kind of song that will make your mom laugh if she’s on the radio, until she remembers who the Chili Peppers are.
It should be mentioned that the band is still in touch with its roots both lyrically and musically. The song “These Are The Ways” hits America’s belly, its accompanying video showing a man robbing a small store of his canned soup to feed himself and his pregnant wife. A police chase ensues, but also a party with the band playing as entertainment. As the shirtless, impossibly ripped Anthony Kiedis sprints from the officers, the lyrics sing “I just wanna prosper / And there’ll be hysteria.”
Whether you’ve been a fan since childhood or only know their name, the Red Hot Chili Peppers have proven with this album that they are still that band that draws thousands of fans to stadiums. Some songs on this album are intense where others are less so and are meant to blur. Whatever your taste, they have something for you. This album is exquisite and deserves an hour of your time, and more.
Image of Hot red peppers by YouTube