Friday, November 9, 2012

AEROSMITH: "Music From Another Dimension"

Rating: RRR
Label: Sony/Columbia 2012
Review by: Urban "Wally" Wallstrom

Let me start by saying that I'm not really a big fan of seventies Aerosmith. Sure, I need the compilation of their best songs. But, I'm brought up with the very late eighties and nineties version of The Toxic Twins. The untoxicated years according to the old fan-boy. But seriously... what if you couldn't care less about what they once meant to the nostalgic listener in the world of rock (play the oldies and stay in your bubble).

Neither if they did a sell out or became too commercial. Please, the big C is just another word for popular and I believe it's the year of 2012? at least the last time I checked? It's definitely not 1976? "Music From Another Dimension" doesn't sound anything like, "Rocks", no matter what you've read or believe (even though they decided to work with producer Jack Douglas). It's rather the commercial (oh, you know you hate the word?) sound of "Pump" and mostly "Get A Grip", albeit with not quite as great material. It's however a lot better than their forgettable, "Just Push Play", album.

It marks the band's 15th studio album and their first studio album of all-new material in 11 years. For starters, the opening tracks are not exactly easily accessible even though it's a grower album. Not to mention the closing couple of tracks as they are pretty lousy indeed, including the Des Child (co-written) ballad. Why should Joe Perry sing lead? And what about the golden rule of less is more? They've simply decided to ignore this by including too many tracks.

Going through some of the highlights: "Legendary Child" (co-written by Jim Vallance) rides hard on the fun and cheeky groove of Livin' on the Edge and Love in an Elevator. "What Could Have Been Love" and "Can't Stop Lovin' You," (duet with Carrie Underwood?!) are two great power ballads. The latter obviously the same kind of trick/flirt as Bon Jovi did the other year. The Diane 'Genius' Warren composition, "We All Fall Down", yet another ballad, yet another homerun. "Street Jesus", "Luv XXX" and "Lover Alot" could just as easily have been from the 'Get A Grip' album. The bottomline, don't go thinking it's all "Rocks", it's eight, nine, songs of Grip-ish material including warts and wicked power ballads. Not too shabby.

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