Red Hot Chili Peppers, “Wet Sand”

Wet sand

Red Hot Chili Peppers, “Wet Sand”

I carry no shame for my love of the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Their music harnesses the inherent energy in the world and their instruments are tools that express this energy in an earthly yet transcendent medium, uninhibited by the chance of misunderstanding. How this music accompanies their sweeping lyrical content demonstrates an understanding of the human element of musical experience. “Wet Sand” boasts the strongest display of this complementary relationship. Building in musical complexity and power from the very beginning, the song details the story of a man and his lover who is simply too good for him and his understanding that there is a beautiful sadness within their situation. Although his tone becomes more detached and resignation to the end of their relationship grows, the music swells as the listener understands that love can only be experienced as a whole; no high or low can be excluded from sharing love with another and living as a soul attempting to weave interconnections with another. The song refuses to give its chorus until the end, finally relenting:

You don’t form in the wet sand,
You don’t form at all.
You don’t form in the wet sand,
I do

– begging her that only a nature of love as depraved as his can form so easily. This revelation has no place to go lyrically and is topped off with a soaring guitar solo screaming pain, love, life, understanding, and broken energy amidst wide yet restrained drums supported by a funky and determined bass line bearing the brunt of this energy, allowing the guitar to take off and later land successfully. Despite the melancholy tone, the creation and shared love for music like this – music that shares in all of human experience, happiness and suffering – reminds me that other people truly exist and breathe life.

–Karam Rahat