Slow Cheetah

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"Slow Cheetah"
Song by Red Hot Chili Peppers
from the album Stadium Arcadium
Released May 9, 2006
Recorded March - December 2005 at The Mansion in Los Angeles, California
Genre Psychedelic rock, acoustic rock[1]
Length 5:19
Label Warner Bros. Records
Songwriter(s) Michael Balzary, John Frusciante, Anthony Kiedis, Chad Smith
Producer(s) Rick Rubin

“Slow Cheetah” is a song from the Red Hot Chili Peppers' 2006 album Stadium Arcadium. The song is characteristic of the band's stylistic shift from rap and funk towards a mellower sound, evident in their latest albums. “Slow Cheetah” is unusual in that it is one of the few songs on Stadium Arcadium to feature the use of an acoustic guitar.

Critical response[edit]

Andrew Perry of The Observer notes that within the dreamy, anthemic atmosphere of “Slow Cheetah,” the Chili Peppers transmute their funk and metal into a much mellower and softer style, whilst sacrificing little of their passion and energy.[2] David M. Goldstein of Cokemachineglow writes that “Slow Cheetah” is “an example of how the band has learned to function in slower tempos without inducing sleep.” [3] Stadium Arcadium received generally positive reviews, and won a Grammy Award for Best Rock Album in 2007.

Musical techniques[edit]

For much of Stadium Arcadium, guitarist John Frusciante experiments with a vast array of synthesized effects, many of which are reminiscent of the idiosyncratic timbres found on 2004’s Shadows Collide With People. The ghostly outro of “Slow Cheetah” is a clear example of Frusciante’s affinity for psychedelia, and provides a stark contrast to the song’s acoustic beginning.[4] The backwards guitar at the song’s outro is similar to 1991’s “Give It Away”, where Frusciante used the same technique. Both “Slow Cheetah” and “Give It Away” draw heavily from Jimi Hendrix’s guitar technique in “Castles Made of Sand,” as well as from the famous backmasking in the Beatles' song “Tomorrow Never Knows.” The song is in the key of B-flat minor.

Opinions from the band[edit]

Regarding the new sound of such songs as “Slow Cheetah,” John Frusciante writes that the Chili Peppers “have made music that can drive you to a place where nothingness is motion and movement and stillness are one. [We] have played with light, darkness, sound, silence, form, air, and space to make music that plays with the listener.” Frusciante also noted the band desired a greater emphasis in the emotional power of their music in Stadium Arcadium.[5]


  1. ^ New CDs. New York Times: May 8, 2006
  2. ^ Perry, Andrew. Red Hot Chili Peppers, Stadium Arcadium. The Observer April 23, 2006. [1]
  3. ^ Goldstein, David M. Red Hot Chili Peppers, Stadium Arcadium. Cokemachineglow May 29, 2006. [2]
  4. ^ New CDs. New York Times: May 8, 2006
  5. ^ Frusciante, John. Red Hot Chili Peppers Official Site. Flea has also stated in an interview that Slow Cheetah is his favorite song off the Stadium Arcadium record.[3]