By The Way - Red Hot Chili Peppers
By The Way Image
Metascore
70

Generally favorable reviews - based on 21 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.7

Universal acclaim- based on 179 Ratings

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  • Summary: Although their ride has been rocky at times, the Los Angeles band is nearing its 20th anniversary. (And if you grew up listening to the band, doesn't that make you feel old.) This, their eighth album, finds the Chili Peppers working with producer Rick Rubin.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 21
  2. Negative: 3 out of 21
  1. A fantastic record, full of wonder. [Aug. 2002, p.118]
  2. Daring and inventive, it takes the kind of stylistic chances and creative leaps that were once the property of the heavies of '60s rock and pop.
  3. 'By The Way' is pretty much 'Californication' part two with a deeper exploration of the nu melodic Peppers, a classic LA record that somehow combines the melodic rush of the Beach Boys and Mamas and Papas and hints at the dark underbelly of the city of angels just like Love did way back in the late sixties.
  4. For every successful foray... there's a less satisfying track; the album is less focused and has a mushier center than ''Californication.''
  5. Underpinned throughout by the kind of melancholic edge discovered on radio friendly ode to smack 'Under The Bridge', and punctuated by a spontaneous, back-to-basics feel, it's an album that sees the Chilis revitalised.
  6. By The Way inevitably suffers for its familiarity: Had it followed 1995's so-so One Hot Minute instead of Californication, it would qualify as a revelation instead of a worthy retread.
  7. Spit-shine production, passionless instrumentation, (extremely) laid back grooves and laughably awful lyrics all conspire to do this once explosive band in.

See all 21 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 52 out of 59
  2. Negative: 3 out of 59
  1. cbm
    Aug 2, 2011
    10
    By the Way represents a different direction for the Red Hot Chili Peppers compared to Californication. By the Way us is very melodic with beautifully composed songs, my personal favorites being Don't Forget Me and Venice Queen. Expand
  2. patd
    Apr 16, 2005
    10
    Great Album
  3. NatalieP
    Nov 27, 2006
    10
    -what Joesepher W said is so true- By the Way is their best album...itthe lyrics and the melodies are beautiful. the whole album is absolutely perfect . They make music like no modern rock artist can touch. Everyone should be required to listen to this album. And to that guy who said anyone can write like them, you're just jealous because you will never play or write like them- they are too talented and complex for someone like you to understand. Expand
  4. Dracool
    Jul 23, 2002
    9
    This is a very great album, I listen to it almost every day, the songs keep haunting you. I like the style of this album, more melodic and with some unpepperish instruments. Expand
  5. camdenl
    May 8, 2006
    9
    badass album
  6. Oct 22, 2010
    8
    It's very mellow. That might be what annoys a lot of people about it, because the Chili Peppers have always been about the funk. It's also a little monotonous at times but there really are some great songs here if you're willing to listen in a way you haven't before. The lyrics don't make sense, but who cares about that? It's a chill-out album. "Venice Queen" is my personal favorite, followed by "Can't Stop" and the title track. Great stuff. Expand
  7. ChrisB
    Jun 3, 2004
    1
    It has been heartbreaking to watch my favourite band gradually turn into a boring uninspired pop band. I never thought it would happen to a band that had seemed to have so much creative talent musically and lyrically on the fantastic 'BloodSugarSexMagik'. Californication was OK, but this record is just laughable. I mean listen to the lyrics: "Skin that flick she's such a little DJ??" I mean come on. Bad. Very bad. Don't buy this album Expand

See all 59 User Reviews