QUICKSPINS – Return of the Dream Canteen by Red Hot Chili Peppers

What did we do to deserve such a lovely comeback album from the funk rock group?

Unlimited Love who? Make way for the Return of the Dream Canteen! This is the second album that features Red Hot Chili Peppers’ staple guitarist John Frusciante. Frusciante, singer Anthony Kiedis, bassist Flea (Michael Peter Balzary), and drummer Chad Smith (totally not Will Ferrell) came out with an extremely trippy album with artwork to match the audible art.   

There were many memorable songs from this LP — honestly, I could name all of them! The debut track “Tippa My Tongue” is a perfect dip into the acid trip that is this album. “Eddie” was an emotional experience, paying homage to the late Eddie Van Halen.  

“La La La La La La La La” was a curveball after the heavy track “Bag of Grins.” It is the softest song in the entire album and that is saying something because, besides the last track of course, it pales in comparison to the heaviness of the rest of the songs. “Fake as [email protected]” reminded me a lot of their “Look Around” phase from their album I’m With You.  

“In the Snow” is the last track of the album. I did mention that the band dove into an electronic phase with this album, featuring synth plugins and drum machines: well, this track has it all. Being the bastard child of the stereotypical Pixies song and a TR-808 drum machine, the cowbell rings clearly while square wave synth pads (a soft wide sound that is used in the background) envelop the entire song. 

Halfway through the song, Kiedis commences a monologue, not unlike what the late Prince would do in his 1999 album. He continues it in a second verse toward the end of the track which ends up sounding like he is talking about nothing and everything at the same time.

Did I like Return of the Dream Canteen? Yes, a heck of a lot more than the previous Unlimited Love LP. There were a lot more memorable songs and they shook off the rustiness of not having Frusciante in the group for more than a decade. No hating on Josh Klinghoffer though, he was a gem on both I’m With You and The Getaway. Definitely check out the new release once you’ve read this!              

Trial track: Eddie

Rating: 8.5/10

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