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“Perhaps Love is Best Left as a Limited Resource”

On May 3, 2021, variety.com reported that the American rock band Red Hot Chili Peppers were selling their catalogue to a company called Hipgnosis for a total of $140 million. This move, in a sense, mimicked the recently prior endeavor of Bob Dylan, who, according to forbes.com, was said to move his artistic merchandise to Sony for between $150 and $200 million, within roughly the same time frame, a deal that was initiated just prior to the Chili Peppers’ catalogue-hawk.

Since these deals materialized, Bob Dylan, it seems, has been laying low, distilling whiskey for his name brand Heaven’s Door, and deflecting claims of statutory sexual assault, roughly. The Red Hot Chili Peppers, on the other hand, have, in a curious mechanism, put out a new album this month, which kind of seems like attaching a horse to a cart you just corralled to your barn. If recording music is an endeavor of diminishing returns and they saw fit to cut bait with the royalties from it, why would they proceed down that path?

Well, maybe it’s just the right thing to do, and granting their music unto the world will provide them with feelings of happiness and wholeness. The album is called Unlimited Love, so apparently the mindset is there for such a phenomenon. The problem is, as I think we all know, love is more powerful, potent and meaningful when it’s fleeting, when it’s fast and dangerous, like a flash of lightning behind a mountain [1], juxtaposed with volatile closeness to hate, spite, attrition and vindictiveness. Sure enough, the songs on Unlimited Love are horribly bland within a uniform interface of uninspired soft rock, like a concoction of “love” that’s manufactured at a Kraft plant along with macaroni and cheese and 7/11 taquitos and whored off to any working class simpleton dim enough to take it as art. 

I mean, we’re past the point of pandering to radio, here. There is no rock radio, anymore. This is throwing a fishing line into a jacuzzi, an unlimited, depressingly vast jacuzzi whose mass can be duplicated and digitized a trillion times and whored out for free on streaming platforms. The stakes are low and the results are low, with Unlimited Love, and I sure hope the Chili Peppers like doling “unconditional love” to the masses, given the average artist payout rate on Spotify and other platforms. 

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[1] Thanks Bukowski. 

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