It's hard to find someone who's never grooved to a Red Hot Chili Peppers song, and nearly impossible to find anyone who flat-out dislikes them. They are one of the longest enduring bands around today, putting out albums since 1985. Since their inception, their style has changed considerably, mostly due to the revolving door of guitarists they've had. Despite the constant changes, the material they produce remains exciting, organic, and original.
In 2002, the band released their eight studio effort, 'By the Way'. It is a total contrast to the bands previous releases, taking a much softer approach as opposed to the furious, in-your-face funk/metal they had made a name for themselves with. But different certainly doesn't mean bad in this case. 'By the Way' features many of the bands deepest and most well-written songs to date, like 'Don't Forget Me' which features a simple, revolving, hypnotic chord progression and a passionate vocal performance by Kiedis that builds in intensity until erupting into an almost orgasmic scream mid-way through the song. 'Can't Stop' is a song that has found its way into the collective conciousness of the mainstream, due to its hooky verse riff and melodic chorus. These are by far the best songs on the album, but there are plenty of other quality tracks laying in wait, such as 'Minor Thing', 'Warm Tape', 'Venice Queen', and 'This is the place'.
Unfortunately, this album is also a prime example of pressure from record companies to meet deadlines, and for every great song on this album, there is another that feels like complete filler. These songs mar the emotional intensity and essential beauty of this album and can leave a bitter taste.
If you are willing to put up with a few crap tracks, this can be a fantastic album, but if you easily get fed up waiting for the good tracks, you might want to pass on this one. but for the most part, this is a great album.