Return of the Dream Canteen
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RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS – RETURN OF THE DREAM CANTEEN – ALBUM REVIEW
Just 6 months ago Red Hot Chili Peppers released their first record having reunited with iconic guitarist John Frusciante. It was something of a surprise therefore, in July, when the band announced another new album, ‘Return of the Dream Canteen’ would be coming.
Well, that album is already here and it’s time to see whether the band were correct in saying it isn’t just a b-side record. Now, for context it should be noted that these songs were written and recorded during the same Rick Rubin produced sessions that spurned ‘Unlimited Love’.
Given that album ran to almost 75 minutes and 17 songs, and this album runs to 75 minutes and 17 songs, those were some hefty recording sessions!
The worry here, before even pressing play is that ‘Unlimited Love’ felt a handful of songs too long. In reviewing that album we also commented; “this feels like four old friends reconnecting and testing the waters”. So again, is this more of the same?
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The first half of the album harks back to some of the bands earlier funky and psychedelic work and is very digestible with time moving quite quickly. Sadly as the album progresses into the depths of its 17 songs, time does start to lag and the songs all blend in together.
I would agree with the band that this isn’t a b-side record and is of similar standard to ‘Unlimited Love’, unfortunately that means that again it feels too long. Cutting four or five tracks would greatly improve the album, and just picking the 12 best songs from across the two albums would’ve given us a superb return from the band.
Instead we have two lengthy albums full of good yet uninspired songs with a splattering of single quality tracks mixed in. On the positive side this is an easy listening album that you could happily work away to with it on in the background.
Ultimately this is one for the diehard fans to enjoy, but it won’t do anything for the casuals, which really makes it feel unnecessary!
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