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Sunday, May 23, 2010

"Tell Me Baby" - Chili Peppers Isolated Vocals And Drums

Staying with our beginning-of-the-week theme of analyzing songs, here's "Tell Me Baby," a cut by the Red Hot Chili Peppers from their number 1 Stadium Arcadium album of 2006. We're going to feature the vocals and drums from this song as two excellent examples of modern production techniques.

1) Anthony Kiedas' vocals have come a long way since the Pepper's first began in 1983 and this track is a great example. Although musically it's not very challenging, Anthony's performance is flawless, which is exactly what you'd expect from a big budget major label album.

2) The ad lib at 3:08 is the only part that sounds like it might be left from a scratch track. Notice the paper rustling in the background.

3) I always felt that the mark of a good vocalist is how well he can sing harmonies, even with himself. You'd be surprised at how many pretty good lead singers just cannot hear a harmony to save their lives. In Tell Me Baby, listen to Anthony's layered background harmonies on the choruses at 1:30 and 2: 30 and the outro on 3:26. Once again, they're perfect without sounding like they were cut and pasted. He's singing lots of naked 5ths, which many vocalist have a hard time hearing.

4) The outro has a couple of additional instruments with the appearance of udu drum and maracas.

5) Not much to say about the great Chad Smith's drumming on the second video except that he's as solid as it comes while playing a groove that might challenge other drummers. It's as perfect as a loop, yet breathes like a real drummer, which is exactly what you want from a drum track.

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Ernesto Schnack said...

I love these isolated track posts...just wanted to mention that I believe it's John Frusciante singing the vocal harmonies.

yespa said...

and the singer's surname is Kiedis.
anthony's voice is really over-treated: it's impossible not to hear all the autotuner.
john is another story...


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