Year 5, Day 32: By The Way…

Year 5, Day 32: Red Hot Chili Peppers – By The Way

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Track List

  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

About the Album

By the Way is the eighth studio album by the Red Hot Chili Peppers. The album was recorded from November 2001 through May 2002 and released on July 9th 2002 through Warner Bros. Records. The album peaked at number two on the Billboard 200 as well as peaking at number one on many different international charts. The album is certified 2x platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America.

Thoughts on the Album

The Red Hot Chili Peppers will always have a soft spot in my heart. They were one of the first bands that I listened to. They are a unique blend of funk and hard rock that is  relatively easy to listen to and rock out to. With By the Way, the band’s eighth studio album, they have crafted an excellent album with a sophisticated sound but not compromising on their trademark style. The album is a heavy combination of melodic harmonies and their gritty funk and hard rock.

By the Way marks a continuation of the band’s reformation of their sound, going from masters of the funk-rap rock hybrid from the 80’s and early 90’s to more radio friendly alt-rock. Lead single and titular lead off track, By the Way could act like a brief history of the band. Take the Hollywood and gritty funk, combine it with lush gentle harmonies, and some killer basslines by The Flea… and you get By the Way. It’s a track that picks up where Californication left off, as most of the rest of the tracks feel like they are in the same vein as Californication or Scar Tissue.

The Zephyr Song is one of the best tracks on the album. A track that starts off with an electronic drum beat and a simple guitar riff. throughout the riff, the Flea enters, then lead singer Anthony Kiedis enters and starts rapping the verse. The chorus is uplifting, but it gets cheesy and repetitive. However, guitarist John Frusciante‘s solo after a shorter second chorus is absolutely stunning to listen to. It’s an incredibly simple one, but it fits the song perfectly. The chorus returns and leaves you with a warm feeling in your heart… probably… different people feel different things.

Another example of the melodic balladry that is found throughout the album is with Universally Speaking. It is a track that sums up just how accessible the band’s sound has become. Dosed highlights some beautiful moments on the album. The guitar work is absolutely gorgeous, emotional, and unforgettable. The chorus harmonizes Kiedis’ voice with Frusciante’s in a manner that is beautiful as well.

Conclusion

By the Way, is a long album., clocking in at almost an hour and nine minutes long. The album is slightly front loaded, with most of the album’s experimentation coming after the first half. The album builds off of Californication and adds it’s own spin on things. It marks a continuation of the maturation process started with the previous album. The production of By the Way is crystal clear and sharp. The Red Hot Chili Peppers expanded on their sound and delved more pop rock sensibilities. It’s another fine entry into their discography that get often times gets overlooked. A great album that sets up a process started with Californication and continued with Stadium Arcadium.

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