Red Hot Chili Peppers released their reunion-like album ‘Unlimited Love’, marking their return with John Frusciante back on guitar after his electronic solo projects and over a decade split from the band.
Starting off simple, I don’t like the album name ‘Unlimited Love,’ though that doesn’t measure its contents.
I’m used to their titles such as ‘The Uplift Mofo Party Plan,” “Blood Sugar Sex Magik,” and “Californication”, which sound a little wacky but are entertaining and original.
The album is on the longer side with 17 songs standing at an hour and 13 minutes, but I guess it could be justified considering its sentimentality of being their first album in six years and Frusciante’s first in 16.
There is some sort of comforting appeal to ‘Unlimited Love’ with its mellowness, funkiness, subtle moodiness, and artistic and experimental lyrics, which honestly come as no surprise to the Chili Peppers’ identity and discography.
‘Poster Child’ really captures this funky and mellow attitude I mentioned–it’s got a dance-ability to it. It feels so true to the band, yet entirely new and I don’t know how.
Inventive lyrics surface frequently throughout their album, such as “I just want the great apes to be free” on ‘The Great Apes,’ which is probably suggesting humans rather than actual apes.
There are also multiple references to David Bowie on this album.
Anthony Kiedis, the lead vocalist, sings, “like a black star in the sky” on ‘The Great Apes’ and “Rebel Yell” on ‘Poster Child’ though this song is accompanied by many classic rock references such as Robert Plant, Ramones, Yoko Ono, Talking Heads and more.
Making rock music references are the Chili Peppers’ specialty.
‘Black Summer,’ which was released as a single, feels like one of the closest to late 90s Chili Peppers’ to me.
‘Here Ever After’ may be my favorite on the album, feeling very peppy, especially with Kiedis’ bouncy and rhythmic voice. Its groove is unlike the majority of the album’s groove, making it the perfect song on the album to head bob to.
My other favorites are ‘White Braids & Pillow Chair’ and ‘One Way Traffic’ which are back-to-back on the album.
‘One Way Traffic’ is similar to ‘Here Ever After’ with its lively pace. It’s unique, story-like, and feels like a mood booster.
‘White Braids & Pillow Chair’ has catchy chords and is beautifully melodic, making me feel emotional each time I listen.
‘Let ‘Em Cry’ is a mix of the Chili Peppers’ spunky and groovy sound. It’s got a nice flow.
After my first listen, I thought all of their best songs were placed toward the top of their album, but they’re scattered throughout. It’s just a good album.
‘Unlimited Love’ makes for their least intimidating album–it’s nostalgic and full of groovy, uniting, innovative jams. It feels like Frusciante never left.