Red Hot Chili Peppers - Unlimited Love (2xLP Vinyl)

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Unlimited Love is the twelfth studio album by the American rock band the Red Hot Chili Peppers, released through Warner Records on April 1, 2022. The album features the return of both Rick Rubin, who was absent from The Getaway (2016), and guitarist John Frusciante, who left in 2009 and rejoined in 2019, replacing Josh Klinghoffer.

The first single, "Black Summer", was released on February 4, 2022; it became the Chili Peppers' fourteenth number one on the Billboard Alternative Songs chart. "These Are the Ways" followed on March 31, 2022. Unlimited Love received generally positive reviews. A world tour is set to begin in June 2022.

Following the tour for their eleventh album, The Getaway (2016), the Red Hot Chili Peppers began writing their next album with guitarist Josh Klinghoffer. However, singer Anthony Kiedis and bassist Flea were unhappy with their progress. They wondered if they could involve guitarist John Frusciante, who had recorded several albums with the Chili Peppers, but left in 2009 and moved into making electronic music. Frusciante said: "Flea had put the idea [of rejoining] in my head and I was sitting there with the guitar thinking that I hadn't written any rock music in so long. Could I still do that?"

On December 15, 2019, the Chili Peppers announced that, after 10 years, Frusciante had rejoined, replacing Klinghoffer. In an interview, Klinghoffer said there was no animosity: "It's absolutely John's place to be in that band ... I'm happy that he's back with them." Flea said separating from Klinghoffer had been difficult, but that "artistically, in terms of being able to speak the same [musical] language, it was easier working with John. Getting back into a room and starting to play and letting the thing unfold… was really exciting." After reuniting with Frusciante, at his request, the band played through songs from their first three albums. Drummer Chad Smith said Frusciante "wanted to reconnect with the band that he fell in love with”, and Kiedis said the exercise was about getting "back to basics" and playing together without expectations.

 



There’s one thing that is pretty much universal for those who follow the RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS over their multi-decade career and that is the fact that the band is just so much better on the albums that feature guitarist and songwriter John Frusciante. It’s not like Anthony Kiedis, Flea and Chad Smith haven’t done a stellar job at carrying on without him after his many departures but there’s something about the chemistry of these four guys together that has crafted some serious music magic mojo therefore i was more excited than usual to hear that the RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS were back and Frusciante was once again joining this team for a new release.

It’s hard to believe this band actually formed as long ago as 1983 and are still cranking out the funk rock tunes some 39 years later although only Kiedis and Flea remain as founding members. It’s been six long years since the band’s last album “The Getaway” which to my ears was a major improvement over the previous “I’m With You” which i would rate one of the weakest RHCP albums of the modern era. Right out of the oven and into the ears of ravenous fans is the band’s 13th album UNLIMITED LOVE which features the band’s classic lineup of Kiedis, Flea, Smith and Frusciante and dishes out 17 new trucks of funky pop rock with all the crazy alternative appeal that made this band one of the world’s most successful musical acts.

UNLIMITED LOVE is a lengthy beast clocking in at a whopping playing time of 73 minutes which is basically a double album in comparison to the old days. With no expenses spared, the album features eight guest musicians and legendary producer Rick Rubin who has worked with scores of successful acts including the Beastie Boys, LL Cool J, Public Enemy, Run-DMC, Slayer, System of a Down, Weezer, The Cult and even country stars like Johnny Cash and the Dixie Chicks. The work for UNLIMITED LOVE actually began as far back as 2019 when Frusciante rejoined but due to the pandemic of the last two years was postponed and kicked down the road until a tour could realistically take place. Well 2022 is the time for all that to happen.

It’s goes without saying that the CHILI PEPPERS have long ago found their comfort zone and never deviated save the experimental approaches they offered on “Red Hot Minute” with guitarist Dave Navarro all the way back in 1995 but ever since the massively successful “Californication” from 1999, these guys have been sticking to the same playbook without flinching although the songwriting prowess of John Frusciante is on a whole other level that the other members couldn’t quite achieve without him. UNLIMITED LOVE pretty much picks up where “Stadium Arcadium” left off. Yep, you can expect catchy pop hooks with funky bass grooves and Kiedis alternating between soulful crooning and blitzkrieg rap attacks. This is RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS by the numbers with little to distinguish it from pervious works.

Considered a back to basics sort of album, the band presumably wanted to give hardcore fans what made the band so popular in the first place and in that regard the PEPPERS deliver well. Despite three of these guys turning 60 this year (Frusciante is the youngster here and is only 52), these guys seem to have found the fountain of youth and dish out these tunes as if they were still in their prime so in that regard UNLIMITED LOVE truly delivers the goods for anyone expecting another round of Frusciante era CHILI PEPPERS however i have to admit that in the year of 2022, the entire style of the RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS does sound a bit dated as if they are perpetually stuck in that 10-year period from roughly 1996-2006. Nothing wrong with that of course but for a band that once sounded fresh, they do sound a bit incapable of moving on and reinventing themselves in any way but then again they have tried and it didn’t quite work.

For a Frusicante album i have to say that this one is a bit weaker compared to the classics of the past. The band was much more on fire with albums like “Mother’s Milk” and “Blood Sugar Sex Magik” and although they mellowed a bit on the other Frusciante albums “Californication,” “By The Way” and “Stadium Arcadium,” i have to say that the songwriting was much better on those albums where there where every track stood apart proudly and boldly from the rest. UNLIMITED LOVE doesn’t feature any weak songs by any means but there are no doozies either that immediately deliver that instant ear worm that makes you want to keep playing it over and over again. This one is very much the PEPPERS by the numbers and because of that seems like the lengthy playing time is unwarranted although there are really no throwaway tracks either.

As with many long established successful acts the RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS have cranked out a new album as an excuse to tour and then play all the classics which the fans really want to hear. I doubt anyone will find this to be their favorite album by the band and considering Frusicante is back on the scene, may even find it a bit disappointing. The album sounds as if it’s simply recycling past ideas and all those clever guitar licks, bass antics and off-kilter vocal delivers have been put on snooze. This is pretty standard funk rock and although there will be no doubt who is performing these tunes, it does feel like one of those albums that features leftover tracks from past works. Overall this one just isn’t jiving with my pop hook sensibilities as there’s nothing on here that really excels in the way the band used to. Not a bad album but if this is the best these guys can do even with Frusicante on the team then i do believe that the RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS have run out of steam.

By: SillyPuppy.


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" 5:16
6. "The Great Apes" 5:03
7. "It's Only Natural" 5:34
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" 3:27



Gatefold jacket including a large folded poster, and printed paper inner sleeves with full lyrics, credits and a picture of the band.

[On back cover:]
© ℗ 2022 Warner Records Inc. Made in Germany.
[On inner sleeve:]
© 2021 Antjonfleesmif Publishing (BMI)
© 2022 Warner Records Inc. Made in Germany.
[On labels:]
© 2021 Antjonfleesmif Publishing (BMI)
© ℗ 2022 Warner Records Inc.
Made in Germany.

Catalog number 093624874720 printed on hype sticker & cover spine.
Catalog number 093624880653 printed on labels & inner sleeves.