Red Hot Chili Peppers
By the Way


4.0
excellent

Review

by Bron-Yr-Aur USER (39 Reviews)
April 23rd, 2006 | 50 replies


Release Date: 2002 | Tracklist


If a band is lucky enough to acheive an 8th album, it's quite common to find alot of said bands' fans alienated by a new musical direction the artist has decided to pursue. Not immune to this musicians' curse, The Red Hot Chili Peppers opted to attempt more harmony drenched pop-influenced stylings as well as their beloved white boy funk. After the successful return of John Frusciante and the equally successful "Californication", the group was apparently feeling confident in its' new found path, and made a stab at improving upon that formula.

"By The Way" begins quietly enough, with Frusciante picking a simple guitar pattern, giving way for Anthony Kiedes to join in vocally. Just as your settling in for a quiet harmonious tune, the song erupts with enough force to knock Hiroshima off the map (again). I challenge anyone to not get caught up in quite possibly the most infectious groove the Peppers lay down here.

"Universally Speaking" follows up this pumpin' track, and while certainly deserving of its' own merit, simply falters when compared to it's predecessor.
It also provides a clearer glimpse of the poppier side of the group, and things to come on the rest of the album.
"This Is the Place" is the darkest song on the album, lyrically and musically. Touching on such topics as death, heroin, and those who consume it, it provides an interesting insight into Anthony's mind and thoughts on these aforementioned subjects. Musically, it incorporates some of Frusciantes' interest in electronic synth-pop while still maintaining a Chili Peppers personality.
"Dosed" is a beautiful pop song with tranquil, slightly hallucigenic lyrics. I started to realize around this point that not only could the band throw down grooves like none other, but they were masters of harmony and texture, and they would employ such traits in "The Zephyr Song" and "I Could Die For You".

Quite possibly the tour de force of the album, "Can't Stop" is driven by a funky guitar riff, rapping vocals, and of course, Fleas' masterful bass playing. Chad Smith lays down a solid groove, and Frusciante provides beautiful back-up vocals, giving this tune power and beauty.
There are weak songs, as made evident by "Warm Tape", which I find to be an annoying tune with a weak melody, it picks up slightly about a minute into it, but I find it to be too little to late.

There are many great songs on this album, and even long time fans shouldn't be too disappointed, given they like melody in their tunes. I find this album in regular rotation in my headphones, and rightfully so. Whether or not the Chili Peppers will continue this melodic growth on the imminent "Stadium Arcadium" is up for debate, but if "Dani California" is any indicator, I have reason to believe things will only get better for the California foursome, and rightfully so.

4/5



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user ratings (2294)
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Comments:Add a Comment 
Iluvatar
Staff Reviewer
April 23rd 2006


16089 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Fix the format, AKA give your paragraphs an extra space. Makes it very difficult to read imho.
It was a good review, but I do feel you could have went into more depth, and if you're going to do a track by track, do every one.

Bron-Yr-Aur
April 23rd 2006


4405 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Ah perhaps. I will indeed do the paragraphs, but I felt I would rather steer away from a full track by track and do the songs I felt most worth mentioning. Thanks for the advice.

ThaFleastyler
April 23rd 2006


36 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I agree with Iluvatar - it would look better formatted a little. Aside from that, pretty good stuff. By The Way has 2 of my all time fave Chilis tracks (Can't Stop and Dosed) and at least 3 others that are nearly as good (By The Way, Universally Speaking, Throw Away Your Television). The Zephyr Song annoyed me tho.

And if you're real keen on this, might I recommend the Red Hot Chili Peppers 'Live at Slane Castle' DVD - one of the better music DVDs I've come across (doesn't have heaps of extras - if any - just a great performance and great camerawork).This Message Edited On 04.23.06This Message Edited On 04.23.06This Message Edited On 04.23.06This Message Edited On 04.23.06This Message Edited On 04.23.06

Bron-Yr-Aur
April 23rd 2006


4405 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I have "Live at Slane Castle" and wasn't too impressed with it actually.

ThaFleastyler
April 23rd 2006


36 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Really? I thought it was great - what did you think was wrong with it?

Bron-Yr-Aur
April 23rd 2006


4405 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I felt it wasn't a great performance really. I've seen some other stuff they've done live and it blew me away. On the strength of that, I bought "Slane", and felt it wasn't up to par. They do good on some stuff though.This Message Edited On 04.23.06

ThaFleastyler
April 23rd 2006


36 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

See, maybe I had the exact opposite experience: I saw the Chilis at the Big Day Out in 2000, here in NZ and they were pretty bad - I didn't enjoy them at all (which sucked because I was really looking forward to seeing them). When I saw the Slane DVD I thought it was so much better than what I had seen of them before.

I also liked the "Matrix" effect on some of the camera shots :DThis Message Edited On 04.23.06

ThaFleastyler
April 23rd 2006


36 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yeah. By contrast, the other headline bands at Big Day Out 2000 were great (Nine inch Nails, Foo Fighters, Chemical Brothers)

Bron-Yr-Aur
April 23rd 2006


4405 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

^ Well I bet the Chili Peppers felt likes asses then.

Iluvatar
Staff Reviewer
April 23rd 2006


16089 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Does it really matter? Frusciante and Flea make incredible studio music, and thats all that matters to me 97% of the time.

Bron-Yr-Aur
April 23rd 2006


4405 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Yeah that's true, but it always enhances a bands persona when they can hold their own live as well.

gwarlord
April 24th 2006


8 Comments


my fav songs would be this is the place, cant stop and by the way

MyRamona
April 24th 2006


1075 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

good review, very informative. I don't like this album compared to other chili's stuff, I prefer the funkadelic stuff. Still a great effort though. Can't stop, by the way and cabron are my favourite tracks on here.

Jimmy
April 24th 2006


717 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

you end both of the last sentences with the phrase "and rightfully so."

Good review, I didn't care for the album all that much though.

pattern_recognition
April 24th 2006


950 Comments


I'm really, really digging Dani California right now. Such a good cruisy rock song. Easily the best thing they've done since Californication. I don't rate this album much, although I liked the singles. This came out a time when I was heavily into In Flames though, so my perceptions may have been a little skewed.

moogooguypan
April 24th 2006


23 Comments


There's some pretty alright stuff on this album I guess, but long time fans SHOULD be too disappointed. They had a good run but this is their first comparatively crappy album.

Gilly-Maloo
April 24th 2006


103 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

This is their worst album to date in my opinion, though I can't wait til their new album, I hear Flea goes back to his old stype of playing in some songs.
His older stuff from Mothers Milk is the reason I started bass.

Bron-Yr-Aur
April 24th 2006


4405 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I thought Flea was pretty groovin' on here. I dunno. I really go for a good melody, and there's plenty of 'em on here.

KickAssIrishStyle
April 25th 2006


6 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I don't know, not my favorite album. "By the Way" has that groovy ring to it, but I didn't really dig the syntehsizers. Just stick with your slap bass and string skip.

les paul al
April 25th 2006


51 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Third best chilis album to date after blood sugar and californication. Lets hope stadium arcadium will become the best.................doubt it



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