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 177 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. Jun 21, 2012
    10
    By the way is an absolute classic, it's a really, really good album. Out of the albums of red hot chili peppers I've heard, which are: One hot minute, Californication, By the way, Greatest hits, Stadium arcadium and I'm with you (I really want to listen to Blood sugar sex magik and the 80's albums!), this is the second worst one, the worst being: One hot minute. One hot minute is like a 8.5/9 out of ten. I love Red hot chili peppers, they're my favorite band ever! My personal favorite songs of this album are: This is the place, By the way, On mercury and Venice queen. And my least favorite song of the album is: Dosed. Expand
  3. Mar 2, 2014
    10
    This is the album that introduced me to the Chilis' and I adore it for that. Although when I discovered their other work, I was surprised to see just how different this album is in comparison. They are a hugely diverse band and I love all their work but the melodic nature and beautifully chilled guitar melodies of this album fit my style perfectly being a laid back guy. This is their best work in my opinion and its well worth a listen. Expand
  4. j30
    Aug 15, 2011
    8
    Really good album, probably their most underrated. The first show I ever went to was on this tour, it was their performance in Park City, Utah. Amazing Expand
  5. Apr 23, 2012
    8
    Many will disagree but I feel this is RHCP strongest overall album. While it's all high quality, over two thirds of it is outstanding, especially the first half of the album. As usual for the band, the record is too long by several tracks but in this case that doesn't take too much from the album. I don't think they've really come near to this level with the records they've put out since. Expand
  6. Dec 9, 2011
    8
    The perfect example of the basic, unchanging Red Hot Chili Peppers we all know and love. The only reason that it's not on a 9 out of 10 is the fact that it's a step down in quality from Californication. Some of the songs on the album however are complete classics. It's just a shame they didn't really try anything too complicated or away from the norm. Expand
  7. Oct 21, 2012
    5
    As with any Chili Peppers album, you're guaranteed a few slammin' tracks, but overall, a lack of vigor and RHCP personality are unfortunately quite clear here. Expand

See all 59 User Reviews