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Texacaliago Tuesday - Album of the Week - Red Hot Chili Peppers - By The Way

 

 

 

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By The Way found the Chili Peppers moving almost completely in a purely melodic direction, which resulted in perhaps the most intimate and warm record in their entire catalog.  It's a lovely album really, that's the predominate theme here, with a notable undercurrent of velvety melancholia that adds a sense of depth to the proceedings. There's something really pure about By The Way, something very affecting and personal.  It's the sound of the Chili's maturing, and although their more bombastic style of the past is somewhat missed here, the Chili's realized that their best songs were always their more heart-felt ballads (i.e. "Under the Bridge", "Soul to Squeeze", "Scar Tissue", etc) so they focused heavily on that vibe and made a really beautiful and endearing record.

A special album that holds a lot of warm memories for yours truly.

"Can't stop the spirits when they need you.

This life is more than just a read thru"

 

Texacaliago Tuesday - Album of the Week - Radiohead - The Bends

 

 

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OK Computer may be Radiohead's most brilliant album, and Kid A may be it's most challenging one, but The Bends has always been my personal favorite from the band.

That's mainly because The Bends is just so incredibly affecting, sometimes too much so.  Everybody knows "Fake Plastic Trees" and "High and Dry", but far less people know my personal favorite Radiohead song found on this album: "Bullet Proof...I Wish I Was".  That song is melancholia personified, as is the more notorious closing track "Street Spirit (Fade Out)".  Such intense, incredibly compelling, all-encompassing songs.

But The Bends isn't all just a soundtrack for Prozac patients, as it actually rocks pretty hard occasionally as well (the guitar-work on "My Iron Lung" is the best example of this...and "Just" is no slouch either).  And plenty of other songs strike a nice middle ground and are just plain good, like the opening track "Planet Telex", "The Bends", "Bones", etc...I could go on.

Overall, as I mentioned in my original review of the album (which you can view via the clickable album cover link above), this is the most human Radiohead album, the most affecting, and that's what makes it my personal favorite from the band.  A fitting album for chilly/rainy April days.

 

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