Red Hot Chili Peppers: Return of the Dream Canteen leaves much to be desired

4 mins read

The thirteenth studio album by alt-rock band Red Hot Chili Peppers is an uninspired and underwhelming mixture of their well-known traditional rock style and a new experimental electronic sound which leaves the album feeling overcrowded.

Red Hot Chili Peppers sprung to popularity back in 1984, after forming the year prior, and because of their unique sound and style, are still one of the most beloved rock bands today.

The 1 hour and 15-minute-long album Return of the Dream Canteen that was released on October 14 and is the second album the band has released this year. Unlimited Love was released in April and reached number 1 on the UK album charts.

“There is nothing especially exciting about the album” Image: Metacritic

Return of the Dream Canteen opens with the post punk sounding Tippa My Tounge which is a playful and catchy opening track with the melody being sure to stick with you. The vocals from Anthony Kiedis show that in almost 40 years of performing his voice has not changed a bit, sounding especially youthful on this entertaining opening track.

The fourth song featured on the album and released as a single before the album released titled Eddie is an ode to Eddie Van Halen. It was written after the band were deeply affected by his death with Kedis stating that the song asks the listener to “not remember Eddie for dying but for living his wildest dream”.

Another noticeable track would be My Cigarette in which the band attempt an electropop sound. This is definitely one of the weaker songs on the album however does have a very unique sound with a repetitive computerized drum blended with the typical rock sound of the band. While this track is definitely of a specific taste it is a refreshing new sound from the band.

Other than a few exceptions, the album leaves much to be desired. There is nothing especially exciting about the remainder of the album. Which is not to say the songs are badly written or performed, they stick to the iconic bass lines performed by Flea and complex guitar riffs composed by John Frusciante who recently reunited with the band in 2019, which leaves the album sounding extremely familiar to a lot of their previous work.

The end track, In the Snow is a surprising contrast to the other songs featured in the album with the band tapping back into the electronic sound they experimented with on My Cigarette. Again, while it is refreshing to hear a new sound from the band, the song does present an underwhelming finish to the album as a whole. While it is not a bad album it is nothing new.

Return of the Dream Canteen definitely does not feature any songs that will end up being regarded as one of the Red Hot Chili Peppers greatest hits. I was extremely excited when I heard that my ears would be graced with a second Red Hot Chili Peppers album this year however, upon listening I feel underwhelmed and let-down.

Featured Image Credit: Stereoboard

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