Sound — 10
This album prooves that Chili Peppers are, indeed, one of the best bands to ever grace this fair Earth. They have musical talent and chemistry that is almost impossible to rival. Flea is more than likely the best bass player in the world, John is a guitar god and Chad can drum up a storm. They have cleverly evolved their earlier albums and become much, much more than "those guys who wore socks on their cocks" and have gathered a whole heap of new fans while managing not to isolated their old ones. The album has something for everyone. Fans of the old school, funk-metal, erotically charged Chili Peppers will be contented with the thumping Throw Away Your Television and the almost too catchy Can't Stop and the title track By The Way when it quickly evolves from its nice soft riff to a song that will make the neighbour's flee in terror if played loud enough. While newer fans who entered the Chilis realm with Californication will be delighted to see that they have evolved this album even further and picked up where the softer songs of that album, Scar Tissue, In Particular, Left Off.
Lyrics — 10
I was shocked by the huge change in the lyrics that come with this album. Anthony's erotomania has been nicely confined so that whole family can listen. There are no blatant, in your face messages about how he adores the physical act of love nor are their any new blatant names for his manhood to add to your collection ("Funk-bone","Stun-gun" and "Johnson" to name but a few)but these changes are not bad at all. He showed us with "Under The Bridge" that he can right a whopping set of lyrics and he's done it repeatedly on this album. There are some bits that remind one of earlier times "Kiss that dyke/I know you want to hold one" but the album isn't overcrowded with such statements. Anthony is giving us a more mature version of himself and the album is full of truth and catchy little lyrics, the Zephyr song will lodge itself in your head for days. Anthony sings with a passion that you have to listen to.
Overall Impression — 10
This is one of my favourite Chilis albums and nobody should be without it. You don't have to like to Chili Peppers to appreciate that this is a wonderful piece of work. My favourites on this are: By The Way, Can't Stop, The Zephyr Song, Dosed (it's really gorgeous), Don't Forget Me, Minor Thing and Venice Queen. If this was lost/stolen, I'd probably have a heart attack! Everyone should have this album. If you don't have it, buy it now!