Thursday, November 11, 2010

3 - "Especially in Michigan," Red Hot Chili Peppers



Number 3 on my list of the Top 50 most-played songs is another selection from the Red Hot Chili Peppers. I've stated it enough times, but I'll add it again - Stadium Arcadium is one of the best albums of the last decade, and probably one of the best in longer than that. There's so many unique sounds and styles featured on the two-disk double album.

"Especially in Michigan" is similar to RHCP's earlier hit "Californication." Not musically so much, but more in meaning. "Californication" talks about the seedier side of California, which is where lead singer Anthony Kiedis lives. "Especially in Michigan" has more of a positive tone about Michigan, which is where Kiedis spent the early part of his life and where most of his family still lives.

It's one of those songs where you hear it and it sounds confusing. The words don't mean anything and it's just gibberish. After initially hearing this song I did a little research and - as the title would suggest - most of the lyrics have a lot to do with Michigan. "A mitten full of fishermen." People say Michigan is shaped like a mitten. "Lions and Tigers come running..." Those are sports teams. And you can find several such references throughout "Especially in Michigan."

Musically, this song is so unique. It doesn't sound like anything else right now. It has a sound all to its own, with the guitar solos and distortion throughout. That's ironic, considering that "Readymade" was accused of stealing a Jane's Addiction baseline and "Dani California" was accused of stealing a Tom Petty guitar riff. As a side note - I recall reading a Rolling Stone interview with Tom Petty and the RHCP riff was brought up. He said something to the effect of "There are so many songs out there, a few are bound to sound alike."

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