By the Way

By the Way

The alt-rock legends shatter all preconceptions with the idiosyncratic, unabashedly pretty By the Way. A lot of the credit goes to John Frusciante, whose puzzle-like fretwork, soulful eccentricity, and doo-wop backing vocals are all over this dazzler. “Universally Speaking” is psych-infused power pop laced with Beatles-esque harmonies; “Dosed,” meanwhile, is a delicate ballad featuring Anthony Kiedis’ honeyed falsetto. Perhaps the single most delightful moment arrives with “Tear,” a rippling meditation on life replete with warm electric piano.

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