Who Said Rock Was Dead?
Two concepts I never thought I'd see together; Aerosmith and 2012. Not only that but a new studio album, aren't we in for a treat! I must say, I was very, very sceptical when the news broke about Aerosmith making and releasing their 15th, yes 15th, studio album; their first in 8 years. It was purely because of how old and worn out they've become over the last decade or so. There were a number of difficulties amongst certain band members, for example Steven Tyler's clash with the band after the hospital/falling off stage incident a few years back. Also the throat surgery he had made us all worried that his voice wouldn't be able to hold up for much longer. Although I was sceptical, I can't pretend that I wasn't eager to hear 'Music From Another Dimension!'. Here's what I had to say:
Aerosmith are by far one of the most successful and well-known rock bands of all time, anyone who argues that it is a complete moron. They have maintained this sense of prestige, and rightly so. But the question still remains as to why they have decided to put out an album in an era when they are not seen as relevant? My answer is that are still seen as vital, maybe only to some, but they have decided to release this record to prove that they are still the greatest in the Rock world.
The album begins with your typical Aerosmith guitar riff, supported by Steven Tyler frantically expressing his feelings on love, hence the outlandish name 'Love XXX'. You would be correct in saying that this song had a Beatles vibe to it, and that's because Mr Lennon's son Julian features on the track with his backing vocals. As we progress through the album, there are key features we can pick up on that are typically rock'n'roll. For example, the swagger-filled, swinging drum beats, the screeching vocals, that sound brilliant for an old man, the guitar and bass contains that 'old school' Aerosmith tone, but you wouldn't have it any other way. It creates a 70's/80's atmosphere that would take you back to your Rock party days and this album is purely nostalgic. Another surprise on the album is Mr A-Lister himself, Johnny Depp provides further backing vocals on the track 'Freedom Fighter', a politically fuelled song, it resembles something of a parliamentary debate, only with added guitars. The catchy tune entitled 'Legendary Child' reminds me of 'Paradise City', and this is because of a particular nuance in the song. Even the ballad moments (such as 'What Could Have Been Love') are fairly similar to their classic 'I Don't Wanna Miss A Thing', but obviously not quite as good.
I think the main thing that stands out on the album for me is that although you can tell the album is primarily aimed at an older generation of music fans, the lyrics strike me as being current, and relevant to a younger audience. As a whole, the album doesn't sound forced. It doesn't sound like a band who hate each others guts have entered a studio and have made an album just to gain a few quid. Even if that potentially may be the case, it is safe to say we can enjoy the album for what it is.
My only criticism will be, some of the songs seem a bit too long, and slightly repetitive, but they may become better and catchier with a few more listens. OK, and maybe there are a couple too many ballads. Apart from that, Aerosmith have produced a decent album in 2012. Not many people would think that could happen, but it certainly has. Well done old geezers.
Stand-out tracks on this album: "Oh Yeah", "What Could Have Been Love" and "Street Jesus"
Rating: 7 out of 10