Red Hot Chili Peppers
By the Way



by The Ashtray Girl USER (17 Reviews)
January 14th, 2005 | 170 replies

Release Date: 2002 | Tracklist

Red Hot Chili Peppers – By The Way

Whilst this isn’t the most innovative record by RHCP and doesn’t have many of their best songs on it, it is one of the most consistent albums they have produced in my eyes as almost every song has quite a lot going for it. It doesn’t contain much of their own brand of funk rock, however, I think this is quite appropriate as it reflects their own growth and maturity as artists.

Lead Vocals – Anthony Kiedis, Guitar – John Frusciante, Bass – Flea, Drums – Chad Smith.

1.By The Way – A great opener and a fitting title track. It starts off very mellow, however, Flea soon comes in with a kickass bass line. It gets into a very nice groove and lets fans know that this album isn’t really like what they’ve heard before, but that the band haven’t completely forgotten their roots.

2.Universally Speaking – Not one of my personal favourites, however it’s very catchy and a good singalong number. Nothing particularly innovative here, but it’s not bad either.

3.This Is The Place – A very trippy song with a lot of echo and a bass line that adds to the effect. A strong chorus with interesting backing vocals from Frusciante.

4.Dosed – This is my all-time favourite song, however, I will try hard not to be biased. This is the first track on the album with any real emotion, and it’s very bittersweet. The lyrics are interesting, because one minute Kiedis is singing about someone in whom ‘a star is born’, then ‘all I ever wanted is your life’, and so it’s hard to deduce exactly what it’s about. However, the overall mood of the song is one of love and sadness. Really nice backing vocals here, although they’re not incredibly imaginative. There are four different guitar parts on here, which gives it quite a rich sound. The highlight moment is at about 4:15 when the backing vocals suddenly soar upwards and the solo begins. It’s not a technically difficult solo, and it just repeats the vocal melody, however, Frusciante manages to make that guitar sing and it sounds great.

5.Don’t Forget Me – A slightly darker song, with good vocals from Kiedis. A cracking chorus with the backing vocals taking the main line and Kiedis only singing a single note for most of it.

6.The Zephyr Song – A nice poppy tune, with a nice poppy riff. Very odd lyrics that don’t seem to be about anything in particular. Fun to sing along to but there’s nothing very special here. The chorus will be stuck in your head for days though, so be warned!

7.Can’t Stop – The funkiest song on here, with quite a strange riff that somehow works really well. Nonsensical lyrics again, but the energy in Kiedis’ delivery makes that irrelevant. An interesting combination of a rap style from Kiedis and choir-like backing vocals from Frusciante makes for one of the best tracks on the album.

8.I Could Die For You – A very heartfelt track that really grows on you. I wasn’t impressed with this at first, but it’s got a very nice feel to it. Lyrics become slightly more meaningful as Kiedis sings with actual emotion, which is always nice.

9.Midnight – Great strings save this track from the mediocre song it could have been and turn into one of the better tracks here. Again, a very rich sound that makes for very relaxing listening.

10.Throw Away Your Televisions – The weakest song on here, it’s only an admittedly good bass line from Flea, some strange guitar and slightly irritating vocals.

11.Cabron – One of their more experimental songs, Frusciante has a go at playing guitar banjo-style which makes for interesting results.

12.Tear – This song features a piano, which is highly unusual for the band. This is a definite highlight, with a great trumpet solo from Flea. A really nice guitar sound on the verses as an added bonus.

13.On Mercury – This is quite a strange song, but strangely appealing. Kiedis sings in a very different style here, with a stacatto verse going into an infinitably singable chorus. Entertaining lyrics about ‘lemon trees on Mercury’ and other random things.

14.Minor Thing – Far more uptempo than most of the album, this is an upbeat number that is a lot of fun to listen to.

15.Warm Tape – Another trippy song that isn’t too taxing to listen to has another strong chorus going for it.

16.Venice Queen – And now we come to what is a fantastic surprise just waiting for you. It’s really two songs, the first few minutes are brilliant, really nice guitar riffing with good vocal harmonies. Then, abruptly, the listener is thrown into a much faster section with almost no similarity to the opening part. Sounds terrible, but somehow it works. It’s very hard to explain just what makes this track so special, but I would highly recommend checking it out to anyone who’s even remotely interested.

Overall rating – 4/5.

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Comments:Add a Comment 
January 8th 2004


Well I'd disagree with you when you say this isn't innovative because By The Way really was. That's why people didn't like it. Personally I enjoyed it because it was a "deeper" sounding album that functioned on many layers.

January 8th 2004


11.Cabron – One of their more experimental songs, Frusciante has a go at playing guitar banjo-style which makes for interesting results.

It's Flamenco Style, spanish pick work.

Blue Collar Tweeker
January 8th 2004


I'm one of the biggest Chili Pepper's fans but I just cant get into this album. I was so disappointed with By The Way. Keidis is really starting to annoy me with his whiney singing voice hes developed. What happen to rapping? I guess hes "matured" so he has to sing now, but I say he should stick at what he was good at. And why completely abandon playing funk? They should atleast have some funk on the record. Also they need to keep the songs uppity and not down tempo, like they did on Californication. Frusciate is also mixing his solo stuff to much with the Pepper's sound. I love John's solo work but it doesnt sound right with the Peppers. They also left off the best song on this album, Time, and made it into a B side which I dont understand at all. If they keep making music like this I hope they never release another album.

P.S How can Dosed be your favorite song of all time? Not to knock you or anything but I cant stand it.

January 9th 2004


how can you not like throw away your television!?! its awsome

Blue Collar Tweeker
January 9th 2004


^^^^I dont dislike all the songs on By The Way, I like Throw away your televison it atleast has a slight funky feel to it.

January 9th 2004


I might be the biggest fan...heh...all their CDs, DVds, went to the by the way concert, it kicked *** by the way. I like all their songs on basically all the CDs...By the Way is the one I play the most. I really think they've matured the right way. Frusciante shined on this album I believe

January 9th 2004


[QUOTE=no peros calentes]11.Cabron – One of their more experimental songs, Frusciante has a go at playing guitar banjo-style which makes for interesting results.

It's Flamingo Style, spanish pick work.[/QUOTE]

:lol: Flamingo. I believe you are thinking of "flamenco."

January 9th 2004


My opinion of the Red Hot Chlli Peppers:

The Pepper's play two types of songs: ballad-types, such as "Under The Bridge" and "Scar Tissue" and the ever enjoyable funk-rock heavy bass riff fest, i.e., "Give It Away", "Around The World". Although it's slightly repitivie, and Keidis's vocals become irritating after some time, it's strangely addictive, and as always, Flea's bass work is worth a listen. By The Way combines both of these types, with giants such as "Can't Stop" that are a mix between meancholy ballad and riff fest. This album certainly isn't on par with Blood - Sugar - Sex - Magik but it's well worth buying for any Peppers fan.

January 9th 2004


stop knocking this album everyone.. it showed another side to the chili pepers and thats good for them considering the album was a huge success with heaps of hits. the chili pepers are one of the most varied bands i know (along with pink floyd, they owned )- and the good thing is that when they change their style it still sounds good. look at linkin park, blink 182, and good charlotte. their music has no variety. i got bored with their crap within a few hours of listening to their albums. WHy? all their music is the same! especially linkin park! i hate that. Chili pepers are a varied band- whether its soft-rock, pop-rock, hard rock or funk. and anyway if u dont like one of their albums dont buy it cuz ur gonna like at least one of the others.

anyone see where im going with this??

The Ashtray Girl
January 9th 2004


[QUOTE=Blue Collar Tweeker]

P.S How can Dosed be your favorite song of all time? Not to knock you or anything but I cant stand it.[/QUOTE]

It's mainly what I associate it with.

January 9th 2004


[QUOTE=Zappa]:lol: Flamingo. I believe you are thinking of "flamenco."[/QUOTE]

Poop, my stupidity is over whelming at times. I tried to edit that "flamingo style" crappers that I put down but I kept getting the stupid critical error shtuff.

January 9th 2004


i agree with the review besides that i dislike the singles a lot..it was my summer album of 2002 though

January 9th 2004


I love Throw Away Your Television. Tear is also awesome. This is my 2nd favorite Chili Peppers album, behind Californication (Sorry guys, all the focusing on funk never really did anything for me)


January 10th 2004


Its an amazing album, nothing else to say, it was innovative for the chili's, it is like nothing they have ever done before, thats why a lot of the supposed "fans" that have poasted ehre havent like it, because they tried something different. I dont see how any of you can call yourselves the biggest fans.

I would give this album a good 4.5/5 its a great album, with no songs on that I dont at least really like.

I didnt give it 5/5 as I feel that, yes its a good album, but they dont suit some songs like Cabron, its just not their music.

January 11th 2004


I don't think that this album was boring it all. It showed that the chili peppers play whatever what they want to play. It may not be funky, but its good to appreciate thier other "unfunky" skills as well. This is one of my favriote albums of thiers.

January 11th 2004


[QUOTE=The Dionysian Cult]I don't think that this album was boring it all. It showed that the chili peppers play whatever what they want to play. It may not be funky, but its good to appreciate thier other "unfunky" skills as well. This is one of my favriote albums of thiers.[/QUOTE]

:thumb: yup i agree

January 11th 2004


it's an alright album, i don't think it's anything amazing, but it's cool.

January 11th 2004


I agree with your review more or less, except on Throw Away You Television. It's great, good bass, good drums, good guitar.

January 11th 2004


no it's not an amazing album, but good

January 13th 2004


I preferred Californication, but I like it.

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