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Are the Red Hot Chili Peppers still making good music?

by Shayan Akhtari, visuals staff

1983: Hillel Slovak (former/original guitarist), Cliff Martinez (former/original drummer), Michael Balzary (current/original bassist), and Anthony Kiedis (current/original vocalist) change from the band name title “What is This?” to the “Red Hot Chili Peppers.”

Since then, they have completed 19 tours and are in the progress of their 20th, released 11 studio albums, and sold over 85 million records. The “Chili Peppers” have been releasing music and touching the souls of nearly three generations. Showing their true colors notoriously playing what I consider psychedelic funk-punk, rock songs with their release of their first four albums with Slovak in the 80s, during the spark of punk-rock. During this time and transition of guitarists, from Slovak to John Frusciante (former guitarist), the Chili Peppers released two of my favorite albums, “The Uplift Mofo Party Plan” and “Blood Sugar Sex Magic,” which are what I consider to be the quintessential “Red Hot Chili Peppers” sound: rich, powerful, and full of everlasting energy. Since then, have they lost their “sound”? Are they still making good music?

“Since I grew up listening to “Californiacation” and “Blood Sugar Sex Magic,” I will always think of that sound when thinking of the “Chili Peppers,” said Robert Moore, senior.

In order to understand the “Red Hot Chili Peppers” as musicians, one must understand the alternate dimensions of influences and sounds that is their music. One thing this band has neglected to do for 34 years is marginalize themselves by adhering to a music genre. Their pure endless expression of musical vocabulary has enabled them to connect with anyone who likes or appreciates good/honest music. With the new release of “The Getaway,” the second studio album with Josh Klinghoffer (current guitarist), we still hear the ever altering dimension of music. Klinghoffer’s passion for playing the piano had inspired them to make their biggest single on the album, “Dark Necessities,” which goes to show that they aren’t afraid to express their personal passions into the music they share. Clearly, their fame hasn’t completely scared them into producing just what the majority of listeners want to hear.

“Do I still think they are making good music? Yes and no. I would still compare it to their old stuff but I’m scared that they’re becoming too much like pop,” said Amy Dejung, senior.

The “Red Hot Chili Pepper’s” are much more than “Californiacation,” “Can’t Stop,” and “Snow.” Often people refer to them as a mainstream radio band, but I, and many others, do not believe so.

“I definitely think they are still making good music. I think they always have,” said Grace Fama, sophomore.

There will never be a definitive description that is their music. Their music is still energetic, powerful and full of rich sound. As long as they continue to feed off of each other’s energy, I believe they can create beautiful sounds, whether it becomes categorized as mainstream or not.