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John Frusciante’s Welcoming Return… and Red Hot Chilli Peppers – “Unlimited Love”

A healthy detox, Red Hot Chilli Peppers’ compulsive search for revitalisation brings a new challenging frontier for the group. Not exactly Red Hot as they wished, but albeit a lukewarm welcoming.

//It’s slowly becoming nigh possible to produce a studio album nowadays without its usual lathering of swampy filler and even though this Rubin-enhanced 17-track listing features the swamp most post-Bastards of Light … the album has sparkles of solid depth and groove that only the likes of Frusciante has with his sheer presence among Kiedis and co.

Although the album hones in on a new frontier developing fantastically emotive motions of music that 2016’s The Getaway lacked, it does not go without trademark Peppers. With Frusciante’s idyllic noodling, Chad’s pampering pocket chops, Flea’s ever-consistent bass dreamboat and Kiedis’ atypical lyricism about wanting to lick someone’s face, we’re conditioned to relate Unlimited Love to the era of lush punch-drunk 06’s Stadium Arcadium. But fear not, you won’t necessarily have to Strip Your Mind from all notions of music to really get this album.

The lead pioneer single of Black Summer – which is a song about vocalist, Kiedi battling extended lengths of depression – turned back tides for the band, as it brought back the poetics of 1999’s Californication to the forefront.

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Crack the flaming whip
A-sailing on a censorship
Riding on a headless horse to make the trip – Black Summer, 2022

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The follow-ups of Here Ever After, Not The One and impulsive Bastard of Light just reminded us that Peppers will always be dripped in sweet-hot funk-rock and core rhythmic craft that has resulted in them becoming such an iconic presence within the land of the living.

It’s a real shame that the waters get real muddy when the songs soon begin to swell into one cacophony as Veronica and Tangelo become forgettable among Whatchu Thinkin’ and It’s Only Natural devoid of any decent hooks that make Peppers Peppers.

Despite the usual feelings when it comes to a twelfth studio album, especially with the albums’ crude thesis about “living life to the fullest” whether or not you’re a true advocate of the fiery collective, this album has certainly got a bit for everyone – whether that be julienne strips… or the whole jalapeño.\\

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