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Guitarist John Frusciante and producer Rick Rubin are back, so is their signature funky-rock beauty

When we think of the Red Hot Chili Peppers at their best — making rock that was both breezily Californian and exceedingly funky — guitarist John Frusciante has always been the heartbeat of that sound

He’s quit twice, most recently parting ways with the group after the tour for their massive double album Stadium Arcadium in 2009.

But in 2019, fans of the Chili Peppers were pleasantly shocked by news of Frusciante’s return

Along with Frusciante, they’ve also reunited with Rick Rubin, who produced every RHCP album from 1992’s Blood Sugar Sex Magik to 2011’s I’m With You,.

a jammy, melodic effort that blends the wavy reflections of their 1999 triumph, Californication, with the expansive rock of Stadium Aracadium.

On lead single “Black Summer,” Frusciante vamps and singer Anthony Kiedis serves up a wacky little Irish pirate accent.

The band tends to get a lot of flak for Kiedis’ lyrics, a sometimes confounding stream of consciousness that would leave James Joyce scratching his head.

But for fans, this is often what makes them so delightful, and if you dig beneath the sometimes-muddled surface, there is often a deeper message.