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🌵 Sessions: Red Hot Chili Peppers – Unlimited Love

April 13, 2022

I like the Red Hot Chili Peppers – not a huge fan – mainly the big records: Mother’s Milk, Blood Sugar Sex Magik, and Californication. I like their cartoon goofiness juxtapositioned by serious musicianship. I saw them live in 2012 at Lollapalooza and they were a great live act. They never really hooked me, however the new album, Unlimited Love, is the first RHCP’s album I have been obsessed with.

Not content to be a legacy act (they could easily sell out arenas on their greatest hits), they have released a phat new album of 17 songs clocking in at an hour and a quarter. The RHCPs have a history of bloated albums but this one is a worthy excess.

I did not realize the importance of John Frusciante to RHCPs. His contribution is as significant as the other three guys and for me it is the main attraction. His guitar play on this album is so tasty – by itself it is worth the price of admission. He adds so much lyric beauty and color to the RHCP’s sound and when necessary he can shred.

I forgot what a cool vocalist Anthony Kiedis is. He doesn’t have great range, but makes up for it with phenomenal phrasing. He croons, he raps, he plays characters and he plays it straight – sometimes in the same song.

And Flea is Flea. He seems showy, but his playing is always in support of the song.

Chad Smith is merely one of the greatest rock drummers of all time.

Unlimited Love is a mellow album – fitting for rockers late into their fifth decade. Despite its easy groove, it is totally in character: funky as fuck and occasionally rockin’. Quick take: it is just plain good vibes.

A capstone to a nearly four decade career. It is totally them. But an old them. In a good way. This is going to be in the rotation for awhile. Good enough to justify purchasing the wax!

From → Music Reviews

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