The Red Hot Chili Peppers are known for their calm and soft rock, their love for the West Coast and their flow. Since their debut in the early 90s, they have been selling out shows and releasing countless albums with new singles, and this year is no different. Their long anticipated album, “Unlimited Love,” released in April, is reminding fans of their classic sound and tone while incorporating their new styles and rhythm.
In 2009, John Frusciante, the band’s lead guitarist, left the band. In a interview on Ultimateclassicrock.com, Frusciante said, “I became quite off-balance mentally those last couple of years we toured.” He was tired and feeling like an imbalanced mess, but in 2019 he rejoined after realizing he couldn’t write music on his own anymore.
In 2019, they released their single, “Black Summer” as the first glimpse of their upcoming album.
Since the start of the Chili Peppers, they were proud of their West Coast lifestyle and background. They talk about the wave of music they created—the surf and soft rock type. They carry the peace and love vibe from the 60s to the 90s, all the way to today’s time and age. They talk about the streets where they grew up, their childhood, their stories, and how they became themselves. They also often talk about the life of being famous rock stars.
The life of a rockstar is referenced and used a lot in Keidis lyrics and this is no exception for this album. In the chorus of the single “Poster Child,” the term refers to Kiedis’s rise to fame and the life of a rockstar. Posters are used for advertisements for concerts, and Kiedis was featured on hundreds of them.
“Cream magazine and Love Supreme, the ballad of a Billie Jean,” he sings, referring to the famous rock-and-roll magazine.
The track “These Are The Ways” describes the life of a famous person in America. They describe the positive aspects of living in America: “The sights, the sounds, the smells.” Later in the chorus, Kiedis sings, “I don’t want to die and she’s gonna take good care of ya,” with some irony directed at America.
The singers style of lyrics have been used all over their discography, “Scar Tissue” (1999) creates a gruesome picture, “Blood loss in a bathroom stall” referring to The singers and guitarist use of heroine, where he looses blood in the process.
The song “Black Summer” is noticeably different in the lyrics and feel compared to other songs in the album, with a different theme than previous tracks. While not directly linked to pirates, the tone of Kiedis’s singing has a different feel. When Keidis sings lines with r sound in them, like “archers,” and “a sailor spoke too soon “China’s on the dark side of the moon” he really hits those r sounds with a kind of Irish lilt to it that makes it sound like a sea shanty. He also pronounces China with an exaggerated vowel sound that produces the same pirate-sounding effect.
According to Keidis, he this “amalgam accent” as he called is was important for him. “I did feel like, I need to be in character to sing this verse,” he told Rick Rubin.
The title “Black Summer” also can refer to the raging wildfires in Australia in their late summer of 2019 and 2020, black as the charcoal left behind the flames.
“Unlimited Love” is a great new addition to the Chili Peppers’s discography, bringing back the lead guitarist John Frusciante. The record took over two years to make, starting off with 200 tracks at first and narrowing it down to the 18 you see on the final album. The tracks are about new themes that we have not seen before from the Chili Peppers, but they include the classic lyrics and flow from the 90s era of the band.
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