After releasing April’s 73-minute Unlimited Love, most bands would have left it at that for 2022. As we know, Red Hot Chili Peppers are not most bands. So although they usually take half a decade to recharge, they’re on such a creative roll that it’s two in a year.
Producer Rick Rubin’s unerring capacity to tap each member’s strengths remains undimmed, whether it’s Anthony Kiedis tongue-twisting his way through Fake As Fuck, guitarist John Frusciante’s wonderful weirdness on Tippa My Tongue, Chad Smith pounding through the appositely titled The Drummer, or bassist Flea being at his slinkiest in decades.
The band even step into hitherto unvisited territories: In The Snow opens like Ultravox’s Vienna, the twinkling Shoot Me A Smile takes its cue from The Kinks at their most winsome in the verses, then adds a chorus not a million miles from Californication, before sneaking in a subtle Krautrock undertow as Kiedis declares ‘I remember The Clash’.
A fine album by any standards, not least the Chili Peppers’ own.