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AEROSMITH – Music From Another Dimension

| 5 January 2013 | Reply

Label: Sony
Released October 2012
Reviewed by Shane Pinnegar

Aerosmith - Music From Another Dimension CD

Amid years of in-fighting and scurrilous rumours, Aerosmith resorted to drafting in producer Jack Douglas – veteran of the band’s early Seventies classic such as Toys In The Attic and Rocks, which made their reputation – in an attempt to avoid repeating the disaster of their dire last studio album, Just Push Play, released in 2001.

The good news is that Douglas DOES take The Toxic Twins and Co back to their hard rockin’ roots – the bad news though, is that the pairing only pays off on a small handful of songs…

MFAD opens with Luv XXX, a rocking tune with a cheeky chorus and a slinky groove, and some hot-steppin’, fast-tongued rappin’ from Stephen Tyler.  With an eye on a little bit of Seventies Smiffs, and a little bit of Eighties Smiffs, you can immediately see they are reaching back into their own classic catalogue for inspiration and fingers are crossed the form will continue.

Oh Yeah is better still, a dirty Joe Perry riff recalling the sleaze of the Rocks album.  Not content to stay firmly in the past though, the song features female backing vocals which add a new *ahem* dimension – a slightly incongruous one – to The Smiff’s sound.

It doesn’t take long for proceedings to get shonky though – Beautiful and Tell Me are second rate, no two ways about it, and open the door for the album to get weighted down in filler.

For every Out Go The Lights (hip slinking riff and Tyler sounding as good as he has in a decade and a half), Legendary Child (with its Walk This Way referencing lyrics and riff and another sleazy vocal), or Street Jesus (as incessant and in-your-face as any of their best work), there is an average recycler like Lover A Lot (insubstantial and derivative, though with an okay chorus), or a piano and strings ballad like Another Last Goodbye, which should have been saved for Tyler’s future Idol-friendly solo album.  There’s precious little in this song to justify it’s appearance on an Aerosmith album.

Sure the record company want their million-selling big ballad, but there are no less than FOUR on this bloated opus – at 15 tracks it’s 5 too long, and only a half dozen tracks deserve to be there.  Of the ballads, What Could Have Been Love is barely passable, and We All Fall Down scrapes through by virtue of being more organic and true to the band’s spirit, whereas Can’t Stop Lovin’ You is just execrable, making I Don’t Wanna Miss A Thing sound like a hard rock classic.

Joe Perry can’t resist his Keef-ism of chipping in a couple of self-sung songs towards the tail end of the record.  His voice simply doesn’t carry the same cracked and croaky charm as Keef’s and Freedom Fighter especially offers nothing to bolster the reputation of the band or even the quality of this decidedly average album, and only leaves us wondering why he bothered, and why Douglas or the band didn’t overrule him.

MFAD works best when they put their differences aside for four minutes – long enough to rock out with no personal agendas or bitterness.  The rest of the time they’re the musical equivalent of a bunch of paunchy, balding guys in a sportscar, wolf whistling at girls four decades too late in a vain attempt to relive their glory days.  The disappointment of the year.

Category: CD Reviews

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Editor, 100% ROCK MAGAZINE

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