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Red Hot Chili Peppers dial back the tempo on dreamy new ballad, Not the One

Flea (left) and John Frusciante of the Red Hot Chili Peppers perform at the Continental Airlines Arena on October 17, 2006
(Image credit: James Devaney/WireImage)

Red Hot Chili Peppers have premiered Not the One, the third single from their forthcoming album, Unlimited Love.

A dreamy ballad driven by some cinematic piano work by RHCP bass guitar hero Flea, Not the One is the most down-tempo of the three tunes (it was proceeded by the Hendrixian Black Summer and the funky Poster Child) we've heard so far from Unlimited Love, the band's first album with electric guitar player John Frusciante since 2006's Stadium Arcadium.

Frusciante, for his part, really shows his textural side on this song. With fade-ins on the volume knob of his Stratocaster, two different delays set to different times, and a chorus pedal, he adds an eerie, ethereal quality to this otherwise straightforward piano ballad.

You can hear the single below.

"Flea had put together a drum machine and bass song in his cobweb-covered garage," RHCP frontman Anthony Kiedis told Zane Lowe on his Apple Music 1 show about the origins of the song. "It was not what you hear today for Not the One, because the bridge was the verse and the chorus was the bridge, and it was completely inverted. 

"Every day after band practice, I ride home and I listen to what we've done that day over and over and over and over hoping that it sparks something or that I hear the right melody or something, anything. In that case, I started hearing that entire song on the way home, but completely inverted from the way he had arranged it. 

"When you start something, you get a little bit married to it. I came in the next day and I said, 'Flea, I know this is not what you had in mind, but is it all right if I sing the verse over the chorus and the chorus over the bridge?' He's like, 'yeah, do whatever you want.' I was like, 'Really?' He's like, 'Yeah, yeah, whatever,' because he wrote a beautiful thing. 

"I thought maybe he wanted to keep it as it was written. On this particular day, he was so supportive and that was super helpful. I think I was going through a very lonely and introspective month. This idea came out about I think I know who you are, but maybe I don't. 

"You think you know who I am, but maybe you don't and especially in intimate relationships, like we know we all present something and people always have an idea, but what would happen if we just showed each other our very worst from the very start?"

Unlimited Love was produced by Rick Rubin, and is set for an April 1 release via Warner Records. 

You can preorder it here (opens in new tab), and check out its cover art and track list below.

The cover of Red Hot Chili Peppers' forthcoming album, Unlimited Love

(Image credit: Warner Records)

Red Hot Chili Peppers – Unlimited Love:

  1. Black Summer
  2. Here Ever After
  3. Aquatic Mouth Dance
  4. Not The One
  5. Poster Child
  6. The Great Apes
  7. It’s Only Natural
  8. She’s A Lover
  9. These Are The Ways
  10. Whatchu Thinkin’
  11. Bastards of Light
  12. White Braids & Pillow Chair
  13. One Way Traffic
  14. Veronica
  15. Let ‘Em Cry
  16. The Heavy Wing
  17. Tangelo

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Jackson is an Associate Editor at GuitarWorld.com. He’s been writing and editing stories about new gear, technique and guitar-driven music both old and new since 2014, and has also written extensively on the same topics for Guitar Player (opens in new tab). Elsewhere, his album reviews and essays have appeared in Louder (opens in new tab) and Unrecorded (opens in new tab). Though open to music of all kinds, his greatest love has always been indie, and everything that falls under its massive umbrella. To that end, you can find him on Twitter crowing about whatever great new guitar band you need to drop everything to hear right now.