Red Hot Chili Peppers
By the Way
Crude or Profane Language
Drug and Alcohol Content
Other Negative Elements
"Throw Away Your Television" encourages fans to slay this "contagious plague" in the interest of creativity and personal ambition. Isolated lines offer friendship and tell others to strive for uniqueness ("I Could Die for You," "Can’t Stop"). The singer expresses love for his rare "Venice Queen."
Ambiguity rules, though it’s fairly obvious the guys have sex on their minds on "Warm Tape," "Cabron" and "I Could Die for You." More explicit is "Don’t Forget Me," which also finds lead singer and known substance abuser Anthony Kiedis stating, "I’m a meth lab . . . an inbred and a pothead." Other drug references appear on "This Is the Place" and "Universally Speaking." Among several profanities is a use of the f-word. Spiritual counterfeits derail "The Zephyr Song" (talk of a fortune teller), "On Mercury" (mention of "another stubborn Scorpio") and "Midnight" (nods to astrology and Eastern meditation).
By the Way is a rudderless lyrical hodgepodge. Aside from one song that puts TV in its place, the band thrashes about in disjointed fascinations loosely connected to their next fix—be it sexual or drug-induced.