COLUMN: 2022, a great year for Red Hot Chili Peppers

Brie Coder

Brie Coder is a graduate student studying graduate student in communication and leadership and can be reached at [email protected] or 217-581-2812.

Brie Coder, Columnist

This has been an excellent year for music listeners. While there have been major losses, there have also been many gains, including two back-to-back Red Hot Chili Peppers studio albums.

Earlier this year, the funk rock megastars released “Unlimited Love,” and just last month, they provided us with an end-of-the-year sendoff with “Return of the Dream Canteen.”

Better yet, legendary music producer and the brains behind some of the greatest albums ever made, Rick Rubin, committed himself to produce these two mind-blowing comebacks. There’s no such thing as too much RHCP, and listeners learn that first-hand in their latter album.

Since everyone is on the topic of Christmas, fans received a smashing gift when former guitarist, John Frusciante, rejoined the band following a 16-year departure after “Stadium Arcadium” came out in 2006.

This is the second time Frusciante has stepped away and returned to the California-based four-some. And like a good avocado toast pairing, RHCP was missing the sultry (yes, a music term!) smooth avocado that completed their success. And now, they finally reeled him back in.

“Return of the Dream Canteen” revisits the funk, rock, and jazzy roots that propelled the group’s mainstream popularity in the late ‘80s. ‘Tippa My Tongue’ gives you a first-hand taste of this with a strutting, acid-rock tone.

Frusciante’s playing in this piece reminded me of former RHCP guitarist Hillel Slovak, who inspired Frusciante to audition for the band and take his place following Slovak’s unexpected passing.

Vocalist Anthony Kiedis takes you on a philosophical carpet ride with ‘Fake as Fu@k,’ which asks the modern-day question, “how did we get so far off the beaten path?”

Although most of RHCP’s music is easy listening, this one grabs you by the brain and directs you to explore your faith in humanity.

Elsewhere, ‘Eddie’ recounts the awe-inspiring career of the late-great guitarist Eddie Van Halen. Frusciante concludes the song with a perfect imitation of Eddie’s playing style, which was known to be systematic for a self-taught player during the hair metal invasion.

Speaking of hair metal and the 80’s culture, in general, ‘My Cigarette’ experiments with the synthesized sounds that defined the decade. The outro concludes with a buttery-sounding saxophone solo.

“Return of the Dream Canteen” will definitely take your ears on a trippy yet exhilarating ride!

Red Hot Chili Peppers have always been that “never say never” band that likes to take listeners on unforgettable adventures.

And they do just that with this album. Although it might take fans a minute to believe the modern-day Jimi Hendrix (Frusciante) is here to stay – for the long haul, we hope – we couldn’t ask for a better present than the one RHCP has bestowed upon us this year.

“Unlimited Love” and “Return of the Dream Canteen” are the unexpected love letters we’ve been longing for since “Stadium Arcadium.” These new albums will not disappoint. I promise!

Brie Coder is a graduate student in communication and leadership. She can be reached at or 217-581-2812