Red Hot Chili Peppers
Return of the Dream Canteen


3.4
great

Review

by Raul Stanciu STAFF
October 14th, 2022 | 88 replies


Release Date: 2022 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The overly productive chili peppers.

During their ’99-’06 winning streak, Red Hot Chili Peppers have dug themselves into a hole sonic wise, in similar fashion to most acts reaching universal levels of fame. Josh Klinghoffer’s tenure in the band didn’t change the dynamics, although a follow-up to The Getaway might have had a chance to shift things just a bit. It’s understandable the other members weren’t really interested in following new paths at this stage, even if they found a certain balance between old and new there. Then, the unexpected yet somewhat inevitable happened: John Frusciante returned to the fold for a second time, generating huge interest from fans and remaining trio alike. Two years of prolific jamming later, we received two 75-minute records that scream Red Hot Chili Peppers. Of course, the prodigious guitarist still has it and could come up with a good tune in his sleep, even though he’s been crafting electronic music for a decade now. Nevertheless, a certain restraint could be heard in his playing style. Especially on Unlimited Love, you could feel they’ve been focusing on growing back into the band we used to listen to until 2006. John needed to resynchronize with the rest, so they wanted to reach in all directions for ideas. As a result, it seems the more diverse stuff was saved for Return of the Dream Canteen. Nobody expected major sonic differences, though I would say UL went for a Californication vibe, using a somewhat minimalist approach to the more immediate, catchy tunes. Meanwhile, RotDC leans towards the By The Way/Stadium Arcadium eras. There is considerable emphasis on the alternative rock/pop side here with a few experiments as well. Unfortunately, there is too much material again and too little variety for it to keep the listener on his toes such a long while.

Return of the Dream Canteen starts strong with highlights such as the funky “Peace and Love”, which apparently was dropped from its predecessor in favor of “Poster Child”. It shares significantly more memorable vocals, especially the sweetly sung choruses among nostalgic chords. Also, the intertwining bass and guitar leads on “Eddie” make it one of the most interesting cuts here. Flea does a lovely job overall, whereas Frusciante’s solo at the end is one of his finest so far. Then there is the moodier “Reach Out”, one of the only rockers on the LP, as well as the first single “Tippa My Tongue”, whose main groove and chorus will ultimately stick in your head. “Fake as Fu@k” contains a nice blend of low key, ballad-like segments and dancefloor ready funk hooks. From here, multiple sonic ups and downs ensue. The main issue would be Anthony’s contributions, which tend to become exhaustive or, at times, dumb. For example, the keyboard touches over the dub-ish rhythm of “My Cigarette” or lush synths of “La La La La La La La La” smoothly unfold, yet Kiedis rarely lets the instrumentals breathe. The front man raps constantly on the former and ruins the vibe on the latter with the rather annoying title repeating. Moreover, his spoken word on the otherwise interesting closing lullaby, “In the Snow” doesn’t really click. There are various moments on the record where Flea and John play so beautifully one alongside the other, however, these get often lost under the vocals.

From the remaining tracks, “Roulette” stands out through its ‘80s funk pop sound and the verses groove would have made for a fitting theme song for an action movie from the respective era. On the other hand, “Copperbelly” boasts cool chord picking, plus more intricate progressions and a hard-hitting bridge. Luckily, Kiedis found a balance between the music and his vocal delivery, resulting in two lovely ditties. The rest is simply more of the same safe stuff, similar to the fate Unlimited Love shared. For hardcore fans, this means great news, as there is enough to discover even after ten listens or so. In a way, I admire the fact that the Chili Peppers favored tight melodies over simply churning radio hits. Expectations rose through the roof over Frusciante’s return, yet the man focused mostly on small details and tweaks instead of the flashy style displayed on Stadium Arcadium. At this stage in the band’s career, expecting another excellent or fresh album is a bit of a stretch. In the end, I wouldn’t say Return of the Dream Canteen is better overall than the previous effort. It might have a couple of higher sonic peaks, but suffers from similar flaws. Obviously, one hour-long album with the strongest tracks recorded in the past couple of years would have been enough for a stronger comeback.



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user ratings (148)
3
good

Comments:Add a Comment 
insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
October 14th 2022


6202 Comments

Album Rating: 3.4

Perhaps a 3 is objective, but some tracks grew on me after a few listens.



Stream here - http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=OLAK5uy_ke4zvQhGW2BDith3tH_fh_uMaoGunxkHo

Kompys2000
Emeritus
October 14th 2022


9474 Comments


You think froosh ever wishes he had hit it big with a band of real musicians instead of these embarassing clods

Slex
October 14th 2022


16690 Comments


Yeah probably lol

DoofDoof
October 14th 2022


15326 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

this one might actually have a couple of ear worms on first impressions, dunno, keeping faith

YoYoMancuso
Staff Reviewer
October 14th 2022


18958 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Froosh was basically in The Mars Volta for a few years there

GhostShelter
October 14th 2022


995 Comments


Cover art will undoubtedly be the best thing about this album but I’m still interested to check it out.

gravityswitch
October 14th 2022


1944 Comments


cover art slaps agreed, but I'm not listening to it either

jmh886
October 14th 2022


2935 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

flea is an excellent bassist

LightAndGlass
October 14th 2022


1240 Comments


The pink shape at the bottom right of the album art looks like some strange rabbit-eared creature twerking with its back facing me.

Matthias812
October 14th 2022


139 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yeah brushing Flea off as an embarrassing clod and not a real musician is a bad take

sonictheplumber
October 14th 2022


17536 Comments


the poopers are back

sonictheplumber
October 14th 2022


17536 Comments


cover art is cool, prolly cooler than whatever adult contemporary is actually on the record

WatchItExplode
October 14th 2022


10473 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Good Lord, another 17 tracks

Sabrutin
October 14th 2022


9815 Comments


"The pink shape at the bottom right of the album art looks like some strange rabbit-eared creature twerking with its back facing me."

Appreciate the creativity but that's just the head of the snake. Its body is all around the art

WatchItExplode
October 14th 2022


10473 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I am so done. This thing is pretty much unlistenable. Tired of Anthony scatting nonsense over every second of every song

Colton
October 14th 2022


15442 Comments


people actually like this cover art?

DoofDoof
October 14th 2022


15326 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

might look ok bigger on vinyl but as a small image it just looks busy and sh't

widowslaugh123
October 14th 2022


4083 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Anthony keidis is the Tom Cruise of music. Even if the movie is pretty good Tom cruise is so terrible he makes the whole movie distractingly bad

widowslaugh123
October 14th 2022


4083 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

And as I said before this is coming from the biggest chilis fan on Sputnik. I’ve literally listened to them dozens of times

hel9000
October 14th 2022


1550 Comments


more like Return of the Kiedis Fucked a Teen, amirite??



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