By the Way

By the Way

4.2 77
by Red Hot Chili Peppers
     
 

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No longer the simpleminded nudie-funksters of yore, the Chili Peppers have evolved into a band that, despite occasional forays into unreflective testosterone-rock, seem to have at long last grown up right. If By the Way, the Peppers' follow-up to the four-times-platinum Californication, charts a more mature artistic path,See more details below

Overview

No longer the simpleminded nudie-funksters of yore, the Chili Peppers have evolved into a band that, despite occasional forays into unreflective testosterone-rock, seem to have at long last grown up right. If By the Way, the Peppers' follow-up to the four-times-platinum Californication, charts a more mature artistic path, chalk up the bulk of it to the six-string wizardry of John Frusciante, by far the most creative of the many guitarists to have served time in Camp RHCP. Frusciante adds an agreeable sense of spacey psychedelia to tunes like "The Zephyr Song," on which his melodic playing makes up for Anthony Kiedis's palpably flat singing. The band's more visceral side is still in evidence here, most notably on the Motown-flavored "Universally Speaking" and the rough-riding rap-rock title track. But these songs come across as more loose-limbed and less carefully calculated than their counterparts on previous releases. Likewise, the Latin-tinged "Cabron" and the pure pop ethereality of "Tear" (the clearest evidence of the fractured relationship that's said to have affected Kiedis's writing) show a maturity that can't be hidden behind a tube sock.

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Zac Johnson
The Red Hot Chili Peppers' eighth studio album finds the California foursome exploring the more melodic freeways of harmony and texture, contrasting the gritty, funky side streets of their early days. Luckily, with this more sophisticated sound, the Peppers have not sacrificed any of their trademark energy or passions for life, universal love, and (of course) lust. Although they recorded the spiky Abbey Road EP in 1988, this album actually sounds a lot closer to the Beatles' Abbey Road, with a little of Pet Sounds and elements of Phil Spector's lushest arrangements all distilled through the band's well-traveled funk-pop stylings. Harmony vocals and string arrangements have replaced some of the aggressive slap bass that the group was initially recognized for, but fans of both the gentle and the fierce Chili Peppers styles will embrace the title track and first single, "By the Way." In fact, this song on its own could almost be a brief history of everything the Red Hot Chili Peppers have recorded: fiery Hollywood funk, gentle harmonies, a little bit of singing about girls, a little bit of hanging out in the streets in the summertime, some rapid-fire raps from Anthony Kiedis, some aggro basslines from Flea -- the song plays like a three-and-a-half-minute audio version of Behind the Music. Overall, the album leans more toward the melodic end of their oeuvre, but they have grown into this kinder, gentler mode organically, progressively working toward this groove little by little, album by album. What once were snapshots of a spastic punk-funk lifestyle have grown into fully realized short stories of introspection and Californication. Though the pace of the album falters at times (particularly in the verses; the choruses are all pretty spectacular), it is refreshing to see that as the four Chili Peppers continue to grow older and more sure of themselves, their composition and performing skills are maturing along with them.
Rolling Stone - Tom Moon
A near-perfect balance of gutter grime and high-art aspiration.
Entertainment Weekly - David Browne
No longer the most dangerous kids on the block, the Chili Peppers have settled for a less provocative fate: professional craftsmen. (B)

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Product Details

Release Date:
07/09/2002
Label:
Warner Bros / Wea
UPC:
0093624814023
catalogNumber:
48140
Rank:
7583

Tracks

  1. By the Way
  2. Universally Speaking
  3. This Is the Place
  4. Dosed
  5. Don't Forget Me
  6. The Zephyr Song
  7. Can't Stop
  8. I Could Die for You
  9. Midnight
  10. Throw Away Your Television
  11. Cabron
  12. Tear
  13. On Mercury
  14. Minor Thing
  15. Warm Tape
  16. Venice Queen

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Red Hot Chili Peppers   Primary Artist
Flea   Bass,Background Vocals
John Frusciante   Guitar,Background Vocals
Anthony Kiedis   Vocals
Chad Smith   Drums
Julian Schnabel   Conductor
Marc Mann   Conductor

Technical Credits

Flea   Composer
John Frusciante   Composer
Anthony Kiedis   Composer
Rick Rubin   Producer
Jim Scott   Engineer
Chad Smith   Composer
Julian Schnabel   Art Direction,Cover Art
Marc Mann   Orchestral Arrangements
Ryan Hewitt   Engineer
Ethan Mates   Engineer
Jason Wormer   Engineer
Dave Lee   Guitar Techician

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