Music from Another Dimension!
Rating: *** or *** 1/2
It has been eight years since Aerosmith have released a studio album. However since that album, Honkin’ On a Bobo, was a blues covers album. So, it has also been eleven years since the band released a studio album of original material (that album being Just Push Play). The band’s sound has changed in the span of over four decades, more recently being a little too commercial compared to Aerosmith’s glory days in the hard rocking 1970’s. The band’s latest album, Music from Another Dimension, isn’t the hard rocking album fans were expecting but still manages to be a very good album.
Aerosmith have been together since 1970. The current line-up (as well as the classic line-up) consists of singer Steven Tyler, guitarists Joe Perry and Brad Whitford, bassist Tom Hamilton, and drummer Joey Kramer. The last three years for Aerosmith have been crazy. In November 2009, Perry announced that Tyler had left the band. Only a day later, Tyler said he wasn’t leaving the band. This led to a well publicized feud between Tyler and Perry, leaving the band’s future in question. An example of this would be in 2011 when Tyler joined the judges’ panel on the hit Fox singing competition, American Idol, which led to some harsh words from Perry. Tyler and Perry patched things up shortly before recording the new album.
The album opens with the rocker “Luv XXX” (reads “Love Three Times”). The song is pretty good and it’s just great to hear Aerosmith after all these years. My only problem with this song is that the chorus sounds a little too much like “Love in an Elevator”. Still, it’s a nice opener that’s almost a rehash of the band’s late 1980’s sound. As for the other 14 tracks, it gets pretty eclectic musically. This is both good and bad. I do enjoy the soul-infused “Oh Yeah” and the funky “Out Go the Lights”. There’s some great guitar work from Perry and Whitford on those two songs. There are also a few ballads…okay maybe one too many ballads. I’ve never been a fan of “I Don’t Wanna Miss a Thing” so songs such as “What Could Have Been Love” and “Another Last Goodbye” are pretty mediocre pop songs. For me, the weakest of the songs is the country-flavored “Can’t Stop Lovin’ You” which features American Idol winner Carrie Underwood. Underwood is a good singer but why couldn’t this song be on her album with Tyler as the guest?
Still, the album does redeem itself with several rockers. The aforementioned “Luv XXX” is an example. “Street Jesus” is a great bluesy hard rocker that sounds like it could have been a song on any of their earlier albums. Despite the cruddy production, the fast-paced “Lover Alot” is another highlight off the album. Perry even gets to take over lead vocals for “Freedom Fighter” and “Something”, both of which are strong. My personal favorite song off the album is the lead single, “Legendary Child”. The lyrics are autobiographical in a way with Tyler singing about trading “them toys for other joys” (“Toys in the Attic”) and taking “a chance at a high school dance” (“Walk This Way”). The chorus is very reminiscent of the chorus in “Sweet Emotion”.