Red Hot Chili Peppers release By the Way
By the Way is the eighth studio album by American alternative rock band Red Hot Chili Peppers, released on July 9, 2002, on Warner Bros.
Records. It sold over 282,000 copies in the first week, and peaked at number two on the Billboard 200. The singles from the album included "By the Way", "The Zephyr Song", "Can't Stop", "Dosed" and "Universally Speaking". The lyrical subject matter vocalist Anthony Kiedis addresses in By the Way is a divergence from previous Chili Peppers albums, with Kiedis taking a more candid and reflective approach to his lyricism.
The album received a mostly positive reaction from critics, who praised By the Way for its melodic, multilayer and textured styles. Allmusic's Zac Johnson said that the album was "sophisticated...the Peppers have not sacrificed any of their trademark energy or passions for life, universal love, and (of course) lust". Rolling Stone called the album "insanely melodic" and a "near-perfect balance of gutter grime and high-art aspiration", comparing it to other works, such as The Beach Boys' album Pet Sounds. Mojo applauded the recording, and considered it to be "the strongest Chili's album since 1991's Blood Sugar Sex Magik". Giving the album 5 stars out of 5, Q called By the Way "A fantastic record; full of wonder." Kimberly Mack of PopMatters commented on how the album "...showcases a more sophisticated, lush sound that only today's Peppers could have conceived", and that "Anthony Kiedis' lyrics are more personal than ever." Frusciante was, in her eyes, "a musical talent to be reckoned with and is the undeniable X factor in the Red Hot Chili Peppers' sound."