The Red Hot Chili Peppers are back with their second album of the year. “Return of the Dream Canteen” follows the April release of “Unlimited Love” and a world tour. The Chili Peppers stay true to their iconic roots, implementing hard rock, psychedelic rock, and funk.  

In my opinion, Chili Pepper’s songs can tend to all sound the same after a certain point. This album is no exception, but it is not necessarily a bad thing. Songs like “Tippa My Tongue” and “Bag of Grins” are prime examples of their iconic sound, a good thing for those who crave the traditional format. When songs do break from the mold, however, they stand out even more. “Eddie,” “Reach Out,” and “The Drummer” stay true to the roots of the band, but provide a nice, new shift from their normal style.  

On the surface, the lyrics may seem nonsensical (nothing new for avid RHCP listeners) but with research and several listens, the album opens to reveal intricately placed facts and references. “Eddie,” for example, was written as a tribute to the late Eddie Van Halen. The song is packed with references to Van Halen’s career and personal life. Each song contains its own world, and relistens of the album reveal new lyrics. 

The instrumentals are a force to be reckoned with, especially Flea’s bass solos. “Afterlife” and “Fake as Fu@k” highlight the band’s insane skill and experience. Each member of the band gives their all, creating a complex, usually fast-paced album.  “Fake as Fu@k” showcases some of the band’s newer elements, like the electronic sax, while maintaining the fast-paced Chili Pepper sound.  

“Return of the Dream Canteen” encompasses all that the Red Hot Chili Peppers are known for and adds new, subtle, elements that bring the album to the next level. It has the iconic style of older Chili Pepper albums, good for faithful fans, but also breaks the traditional sound and gives the album a higher re-listen value.  

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