Red Hot Chili Peppers’ “Unlimited Love” (Album Review)


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“Unlimited Love” is the 16th studio album released by the Red Hot Chili Peppers, hitting number 1 on the Billboard Top 200 in 2022.

Paul Tointigh, Managing Editor

Ever since 1982, Red Hot Chili Peppers (RHCP) has entertained the airways and the streams of internet music. The band was very active in the mid to late 1980s, and once again in the late 90s to early 2000s. RHCP released their music once again in the early 2020s with two studio albums: “Unlimited Love” and “Return of the Dream Canteen.”

With their two most recent albums released in the 2020s, “Unlimited Love” reached the number one spot on the Billboard Top 200 in 2022, being the first RHCP album to do so since their 2006 album “Stadium Arcadium” (which is the album that introduced me to this band I might add).

“Unlimited Love” was released on April 1, 2022, and features 17 songs with a total runtime of one hour and thirteen minutes. The album also marked the return of John Frusciante, a guitarist who left the band in 2009 and rejoined in 2019.

The album as a whole reinforces the mixture of the alternative rock and punk rock that RHCP is known for. This is evident with the opening song, “Black Summer,” with the familiar voice of lead singer Anthony Kiedis, as well as Frusciante’s lead guitar driving the songs forward one phrase at a time. The song begins smoothly, but builds into a heavier song with the entrance of the drum set, as is tradition with RHCP songs.

“Here Ever After,” the subsequent song leans more on the rock side with a commanding guitar. Kiedis tunes his voice to a punk rock feel in this song. Though some might enjoy the melody in this song, I felt very indifferent to it.

A wonky mixture of jazz and funk is what I would use to describe the third entry, “Aquatic Mouth Dance.” I like songs that seem to peel off into left field, and this song definitely does that, derailing so much that if not for the voice of Kiedis, I would not think this was a RHCP album.

Another song of noteworthy mention is “The Great Apes” (number six), which gives off sounds similar to that of Lynyrd Skynyrd or Blue Oyster Cult. This song sounds like an 80s rock song with an alternative flavor. It even features a short yet prominent guitar solo about halfway through the song.

I had to double check the time signature of the next song, “It’s Only Natural.” The driving beat sounds like a very odd time signature, but when I checked, it is in common time, which is indeed a “natural” time signature.

The rest of the album, I will say, does all sound more or less the same. With Kiedis leading at the mic, Chad Smith on the drum set, and Frusciante on the guitar, the rest of the songs scream alternative rock. While listening to the rest of the album, none of the songs stood out to me as unique.

That is, except for the last song, “Tangelo.” Smith puts the drumsticks in the stick bag, as this is an acoustic song. It is a smooth, chill closer to the album. The song (and the album) ends with a complete silence for the last twenty seconds of the song.

Overall, this was a nice album to listen to. Do I think it holds up to their albums in the late 90s and early 2000s? No, but I think it is a solid notch in the RHCP belt. There were certainly a few songs that I added to my playlist. I do believe that RHCP will release a few more albums before they disband for good sometime in the future, but only time will tell how they perform in their future works.


Paul Tointigh is a third-year Communication major at the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma.