Reviews > CD > Red Hot Chili Peppers – By the Way
red hot chili peppers Red Hot Chili Peppers
By The Way

    You know what, I haven't written in a while. Some would say I'm lazy, maybe a lack of focus, maybe even a little burnt out. I know, how can you get burnt out from listening to music and voicing your opinion, like I am some kind of "expert." Now that you are all feeling sorry for me, basically I haven't written because of all the garbage that is out right now. Nothing against those great artists that are currently on MTV like Avril Lavigne, Paulina Rubio, Ashanti, and Dirty Vegas, can you tell my sarcasm?

    Well something is about to change as the Red Hot Chili Peppers release their 9th studio album, By the Way. Riding high on the heels of 1999's Californication, which featured the return of John Frusciante, the Chili Peppers are in uncharted water for a group of funky guys who were once known for wearing socks on their cocks.

    "By the Way" (the first single, and title track) is a song that bridges the gap from the funky early Chili Peppers sound to the more polished Californication. Anthony Kiedis, John Frusciante, Flea, and Chad Smith have grown leaps and bounds as musicians, as well as songwriters. The addition of Frusciante's backing vocals, adds texture, and complements Kiedis's voice. Just listen to the harmonies on "Universally Speaking," "Dosed," "Midnight," or "Warm Tape," and you will hear an element to the Chili Peppers that has sorely been missing.

    From the doo-wop-ish "Universally Speaking," to the ska influenced "On Mercury," this disc is full of highlights. "The Zephyr Song" could be my favorite song on the disc, along with "Tear" and the acoustic "Cabron." The songs flow between styles seamlessly. The only song that seems to falter is the hollow "Throw Away Your Television" which just seems out of place on this disc. With its big drum sound, it seems more like a left over from the days of Blood Sugar Sex Magik. By the Way shows that Californication was only the beginning of the Chili Peppers "comeback" and not a swan song. With close to 20 years now under their belt, the Peppers have continued to grow and expand musically, unlike many of the bands that they started out with. Fuck Bono and all his bullshit posturing, the Red Hot Chili Peppers are right now the biggest rock band in the world. I will be very surprised if there is a better CD this year than By the Way.


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