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RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS – UNLIMITED LOVE – ALBUM REVIEW
Whilst many members have graced the Red Hot Chili Peppers over the past 40 years, there is no doubting the iconic line-up is Kiedis, Flea, Smith and Frusciante. So, the news that Frusciante was returning to the fold in 2019 was greeted with music excitement from their fanbase.
Sadly a pandemic related lack of touring and new music stifled some of that initial joy. There is no real wave of momentum now as the classic line-up release their first album together in 16 years.
Realistically the writing and release of ‘Unlimited Love’ is a thankless task for the band. Try to recapture their glory days and they are simply rehashing old ground, but try something different and rile fans excited by this reunion!
Pre-release singles ‘Black Summer’ and ‘Poster Child’ particularly showed that perhaps the band had shot for some middle ground in an attempt to please everybody. The obvious problem being that you can’t ever please everybody.
WATCH ‘POSTER CHILD’ ON YOUTUBE
Clearly their creative juices have flown again with word of some 50 tracks being recorded during these sessions. 17 have made it on to this album, which makes for a runtime of nearly an hour and fifteen minutes.
Of course the band, and this line-up in particular have history of lengthy releases, but I can’t help but feel a shorter punchier release may have done them more favours; especially in todays age of short attention spans.
This kind of brings us back to the point of who the band are trying to please on ‘Unlimited Love’. Realistically and perhaps rightly it’s not a new audience, nor really any lapsed early fans! The answer instead may lie internally, as this feels like four old friends reconnecting and testing the waters.
As we stated at the start, this release would always be a thankless task, so perhaps it’s only right the band get to take the time to feel each other out again. Let’s face it for a group on the level of Red Hot Chili Peppers, anything they release will be a commercial success.
Artistically they’ve not rested on any laurels, or simply played it safe, but for a band famous for their experimentation, you have to hope they will stretch their legs a little further on their next release!
Still, ‘Unlimited Love’ likely does what it needs to do. It doesn’t recapture past glories, but it may well lay the groundwork for the band to do so.
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