By The Way by Red Hot Chili Peppers

Artist: Red Hot Chili Peppers

Album: By The Way

Record Label: Warner Brothers Records

Suggested Tracks: Track 4- Dosed Track 13- On Mercury

The original Red Hot Chili Peppers group formed at Fairfax High School in Los Angeles, California. Lead vocalist Anthony Kiedis linked up with bassist Michael Balzary (later known as Flea), guitarist Hillel Slovak, and drummer Jack Irons, creating what would be known as The Red Hot Chili Peppers. The Red Hot Chili Peppers are best known for their alt-rock style of music. They infuse psychedelic vibes with heavy rock undertones, lead by Kiedis’ unique style of vocals. After a tumultuous start, the band released its first successful album in 1987 titled “The Uplift Mofo Party Plan.”  The band suffered from the tragic death of guitarist Slovak, leading Irons to leave the band. They were replaced by a mix of stars over the next decade. Despite the changing dynamic and personnel, the Red Hot Chili Peppers remained successful, always lead by Kiedis and Flea. The Peppers were best known for their electrifying live performances, as Kiedis is considered one of the best performers of all time. The group released By The Way in 2002. Having already established a respectable reputation in the alt-rock world, By The Way did not disappoint the high expectations the world had for the Chili Peppers.

By The Way was less heavy-rock than the previous albums done by the Chili Peppers. The album features more pop, reggae, and psychedelic tones while still staying true to the Peppers rock roots with strong bass and drum solos. Track 4- Dosed, begins with a calming array of simple electric guitar and bass before bringing in strong percussion beats, and soft vocals from Kiedis. The track has a very chill vibe to it, as Kiedis leads the way, showcasing his whole vocal range. He slips soothingly in and out of seamless falsettos as the steady drums and guitar accompany him. The whole track is tied together by Flea’s layered use of bass notes. The simplistic use of electric guitar, paired with Kiedis’ vocals and Flea’s bass really make the listener feel as though they’ve been dosed by the Chili Peppers, as one could slip into the serene perfection that this song creates. Towards the end, the instrumental shifts to a more intense tone, and Kiedis pours his soul into the final chorus. The song ends in the same way it starts, by highlighting beautiful melodies from the electric guitar.

Track 13- On Mercury has a classic Red Hot Chili Peppers feeling to it. The listener is instantly launched into the Peppers electrifying use of drums and guitar before Kiedis even begins singing. The fast tempo of the guitar and drums carries Kiedis’ cross between singing and rock rap to the next level. Kiedis is considered one of the most unique vocalists of all time, and this song really demonstrates how he gained such a reputation. Kiedis doesn’t miss a single beat, this time letting the instrumentals lead the song. On Mercury infuses class rock and pop in a unique way that only the Chili Peppers have mastered. The psychedelic lyrical style from Kiedis adds an entirely different layer of uniqueness that comes together in this Chili Peppers style jam session of a song.

The Red Hot Chili Peppers have been nominated for 12 Grammys over the years, taking home 3 wins for Best Rock Album, Best Rock Performance by a group in 2006, and Best Hard Rock Performance in 1992. By The Way is a great album that exemplifies why the Red Hot Chili Peppers are one of the greatest modern rock bands.

On February 15th from 7 pm to 9 pm, KPOET will be having their first Open Mic Night of the New Year. If you would like to perform, a sign up sheet is available outside the KPOET station door.

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