Sound — 9
By the Way is a big departure from the bands other albums "Californication," "BSSM". But still presents a very pleasing record. Songs are more mellowed out and feature some of anthonys best vocals to date. But there was a lot of pressure between flea and john during the creation of the record with flea nearly quitting after it's completion. The red hots explore a poppier side of themselves on this record with songs like "Cabron" and "On Mercury." Even featuring piano and trumpet on "Tear".
Lyrics — 8
The lyrics were very strong on this album with songs like "I Could Die For You", "Dosed", and "Venice Queen". Some of the chilis more nonsense rhyming appears on "can't stop and "by the way". One part of Can't Stop anthony sings "Mop top are happy when they feed you" which I don't know if anyones figured out. I think it's just random lyrics in a rhyme scheam. Anthony's skills have improved in his vocals but some people might find it a throw off if they like old albums like The Uplift Mofo Party.
Overall Impression — 8
I believe this album can stand up to "one hot minute" and the pre-john albums. But falls short of "Californication" and "BSSM". The most impressive songs are "Can't Stop," "By The Way," "The Zephyr Song" "Minor Thing" and "Tear". I just liked it because it could keep me intrested enough to listen to the whole album. But sometimes it was funky enough. I would buy it again the minute it came up missing.