Aerosmith: Music From Another Dimension

Posted November 20, 2012 by in



3/ 5


Genre: Rock, hard rock, blues rock
Producer: Jack Douglas, Steven Tyler, Joe Perry, Marti Frederiksen
Label: Columbia
Format: CD, digital download, vinyl
Time: 67:59
Release Date: 6 November 2012
Spin This: Oh Yeah, Out Go the Lights, Another Last Goodbye


Aerosmith seems invigorated. When they rock hard, they rock hard. Plus, Tyler sounds ageless


Tunes feel like basic clones of yesterday's patterns; AC material focuses more on Tyler than the band

Nothing alien here, just same old song and dance

by J Matthew Cobb
Full Article

Nothing alien here, just the same old song and dance

To properly understand Steven Tyler’s solo venture struggles, one needs to exhume the gory details surrounding his relationship with Aerosmith. Guitarist Joe Perry and Tyler’s work relationships may not be the rocky stuff that emulates Jagger and Richards, but their ravages of drug warfare and the many bumps-in-the-road add up. Plus, Tyler’s larger-than-life persona and rock star pipes screamed for more spotlight time. And he got just that when he stepped out of the Aerosmith ring again with 2011’s “(It Feels) So Good,” a song with high hopes for a full-length solo album. Despite the gloomy news surrounding his throat surgery in 2006 and his bout with Hepatitis C, Tyler remained in the spotlight, thanks to his two-year stint with FOX’s hit show American Idol. But a reinvigorated Aerosmith, a group who has proven to be one of the biggest third-generation rock bands of the Seventies and Eighties, are soldering onward with their original stars in place.

Enter Music from Another Dimension. It’s not the monstrosity that the album title surmises, nor does it feel like an episodic gaffe akin to their Terminator-on-meth arcade game Revolution X. It might look that way based on the cover alone, which celebrates the Golden Age of comic books and sci-fi thrillers. But Music from Another Dimension, the band’s fifteenth studio album and the last in their current contract with Columbia, is anything but a musical nightmare. The fifteen-track set tries to extend the band’s shelf life, while also hoping to compensate for the time loss in between albums (Honkin’ on Bobo was released in 2004). So do they succeed? That’s the big question and the answers are somewhat mixed. “Luv Xxx” (“Love three times a day,” Tyler sings) revs up the “Back in the Saddle” loudness, but hardly possess the irresistible hooks. “Out Go the Lights” showcases a funky rump-shaking groove that returns the band to their Seventies’ vibes. All goes well into the band pulls out nursery rhyme quotes (“Roses are red/my lips on you…”) and ballsy innuendo by Tyler (“Living on coochie and romance/Waiting on cupid to call”). If you can see past those irritations, you’ll find the pot of gold at the end of the song’s rainbow where Perry’s guitar riffs join together with backing vocalists chanting “ooh, ah-oohs” for a showdown throwdown. On the up side, “Legendary Child” uses “Rock This Way” riffs, while pulling off Journey-like eccentricity. Possibly the album’s hottest attraction, the Perry-concocted “Oh Yeah” – juiced with a gospel girl chorus and a Perry guitar solo, sounds like a hearty Rolling Stones’ workout.

The band doesn’t show any restraint in exploring their love song leanings, exampled on the Carrie Underwood-guested, Nashville rock of “Can’t Stop Lovin’ You,” the AC-soaked “What Could Have Been,” the Diane Warren-penned “We All Fall Down” and the piano-cozy, Perry/Tyler/Desmond Child composition “Another Last Goodbye.” The latter’s big moment happens when it showcases off-the-rafters shrills only Tyler can pull off before it eventually fades into the gothic shadows.

But not all the tracks aboard Music from Another Dimension showcase the band’s best, or any serious musical progressions. That’s a difficult task when scouring through their big hits, but “Street Jesus” and the Perry-led “Freedom Fighter” prove to be upsets in their illustrious 40-year catalog.

What listeners can take away from this experience is that Aerosmith can rock on despite their age or what their toughest cynics believe. They have just as much fight as Foreigner and Van Halen – even the Stones, and that says a lot. To know they can pull off a full-length album featuring all-new material (three more on the deluxe edition) at this point in their career – especially using the exact same precision and agility from their heyday – is definite proof that they are from another dimension. Eh, pun intended.

About the Author

J Matthew Cobb

Managing editor of HiFi Magazine


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