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Red Hot Chili Peppers “Unlimited Love” Album Review

Unlimited Love

Red Hot Chili Peppers

  • Genre: Alternative
  • Release Date: 2022-04-01
  • Explicitness: notExplicit
  • Track Count: 17
  • ℗ 2022 Warner Records Inc.

Unlimited Love—the Chili Peppers’ first album in six years and first with Frusciante in 16—recaptures their natural camaraderie. This project is exactly what it says on the tin: A celebration of union, friendship, and life, all manifested across 17 tracks. This record is a regal return, littered with lyrical easter eggs and distinctive Chili Peppers funky flare.

On Unlimited Love, which arrives nearly 40 years into the band’s career and makes no concessions to any prevailing trends of popular music in 2022, the Chili Peppers sound like no one but themselves. Unlimited Love finds this lineup in its purest form, ecstatically jamming, revelling in being in the same room again.

It’s not uncommon for Chili Peppers albums featuring Frusciante to stretch towards 20 songs, but Unlimited Love does the least to justify its hour-plus length. Much of it sounds exactly like the premise that’s thus far been presented: the four of these guys getting back together, no more, no less. On some level, that’s respectable enough.

Album Cover Artwork

Red Hot Chili Peppers &Quot;Unlimited Love&Quot; Album Review, Yours Truly, Reviews, August 14, 2022
Album Cover Artwork For Red Hot Chili Peppers’ “Unlimited Love”.

On the album cover is the album title displayed above the band name, all in different colours of light, squished into a sign hanging at a tall height above the city. The sign has an inviting appeal, which Red Hot Chili Peppers wants to achieve with this new body of work.

They are inviting all and sundry, which could only be the focal point of hanging up that colourful and bright sign above the city for all to see. The invitation is for everyone because there is Unlimited Love to go around.

Tracks and Features

The comeback album opens with ‘Black Summer’. Released back in February, the single provoked a reaction due to frontman Anthony Kiedis displaying an accent many have compared to that heard on a sea shanty. A play on his accent seems experimental for Kiedis, as it would be for any frontman with 40 years of vocal work under his belt.

Black Summer’s lyrical focal points are that of nature. It is a theme that has seemed to weave its way through the slew of Chili Peppers records. Though this number is not just a tribute to mother nature, it’s a call to protect her in signature kinetic Kiedis style.

This exciting take on lyricism is heard throughout ‘Unlimited Love’. Second on the tracklisting is ‘Here Every After’, which again platforms Kiedis’ knack for fast, frivolous songwriting complemented by his bandmate’s instrumental technique.

An album highlight is ‘Aquatic Mouthdance’. The song’s title again speaks to Kiedis’s role as a lyrical daredevil, but this tune is made exceptional due to the clever use of instrumentation. Leading with a funky Flea bassline met with Chad Smith’s spirited drum hammering and much-missed Frusiciante guitar licks, soon engulfed by a flurry of jazz trumpets.

‘Not The One’ displays melancholic, ghostly guitar screams tied together with a slow tempo. A contrast to its neighbouring track ‘Poster Child’.

Again, this seems to be a running proposition. However, amongst the heavier delicious funk-rock gifts on this record, including ‘Here Ever After’, ‘She’s A Lover’, ‘These Are the Ways’ and ‘One Way Traffic’ – ‘Unlimited Love’ has a softer side.

Tangelo showcases lyrics that could reference romantic relationships, lifelong friendships or that of a father and son – all tied together by gentle acoustic guitar strums and an otherworldly synth that bleeds into meditative background noise. A beautiful end to a long-awaited body of work.

Tracks

NO Title Time
1 Black Summer 3:52
2 Here Ever After 3:50
3 Aquatic Mouth Dance 4:20
4 Not the One 4:26
5 Poster Child 5:18
6 The Great Apes 5:01
7 It’s Only Natural 5:33
8 She’s a Lover 3:41
9 These Are the Ways 3:56
10 Whatchu Thinkin’ 3:40
11 Bastards of Light 3:38
12 White Braids & Pillow Chair 3:40
13 One Way Traffic 4:10
14 Veronica 4:28
15 Let ‘Em Cry 4:23
16 The Heavy Wing 5:31
17 Tangelo 3:37

Album Theme

On ‘Unlimited Love’, Red Hot Chili Peppers sound sure of themselves again; comfortable, confident but with moments of gleeful chaos. Basically, the band is rediscovering their groove.

Production Credits

Rick Rubin produced the album.

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