Unless you’ve been under a rock for the last month, you know two huge events are happening today. One of these events is the release of Aerosmith’s new studio album, Music From Another Dimension! The other huge ordeal happening is Election Day (Get out and vote!) Yesterday the two combined when Aerosmith played a show on the front stoop of their original apartment at 1325 Commonwealth Avenue in Boston. The rally was to promote voting, but also to promote the new record which I will be focusing on today.
Music From Another Dimension! is Aerosmith’s first album of original material since 2001’s, Just Push Play. Any Aerosmith fan who has been waiting for a new album will not be disappointed with Music From Another Dimension!, but let me say if you were expecting an album like 1976’s, Rocks this is not that. Likewise if you were looking for an album like 1993’s, Get A Grip this is not the album for you. But if you are the third-party that was hoping for an album that encompasses all of Aerosmith’s best features throughout their career, then this new collection of fifteen tracks is for you.
Music From Another Dimension! starts out “LUV XXX” which features a very creepy spoken intro by producer Jack Douglas. But then the drums kick in followed by a very 70’s inspired riff. Steven Tyler’s vocals come in next, but one will notice that not only are they harmonized by Joe Perry, but also by John Lennon’s son, Julian. Coincidentally Jack Douglas was also John Lennon’s producer and one of the last people to see Lennon alive.
The second track on the album is a great song called “Oh Yeah” which is a very Rolling Stones-esque double time number. The song features horns along with loosely played guitars. But what brings the track together are the background singers and the horn section who give the track a certain depth. This track is followed by an odd song called “Beautiful” which is reminiscent of Aerosmith’s 1990’s sound. The track mixes killer riffs, spitting vocals, and sweet melody. This song is nothing like anything I’ve heard before, and the arrangement is very odd especially towards the end when it sounds like a new song altogether.
Next up is the Tom Hamilton penned, “Tell Me” which is one of my favorite songs on the album because it reminds me of The Beatles mixed with Aerosmith’s more ballad oriented material. This is especially true when it comes to the guitar solo and refrains. “Tell Me” is followed by a great track called “Out go The Lights” which is cowbell driven bluesy number featuring a great syncopated riff, and also featured a cool background vocal section. Tyler’s lyrics also great and are filled sexual innuendo and double-entendres. Just when you think the track is about to end, Joey Kramer’s drums come back in and so does Perry’s guitar, and this is when he provides a great syncopated funk driven guitar solo.
“Legendary Child” is up next, and this song starts off with a very cool and unique backwards guitar that goes into a riff that sounds a lot like Led Zeppelin’s “The Wanton Song”. Steven Tyler’s vocals follow, and the song is instantly kicked up a notch. Then the song takes an odd turn when we go to this atmospheric section. This is then interrupted rudely by Joe Perry and Brad Whitford’s monster riffage. Then another verse that is full of Steven Tyler’s usual witty lyrics kicks in. This time the band chooses to forego the atmospheric pre-chorus section, and go straight into another chorus. This chorus is then followed by a short guitar break, and then a ripping Joe Perry solo. At the end of Perry’s solo back-masked guitars are moving in and out, and Tyler repetitively sings the song’s title till the song comes to a conclusion. This is one of the best tracks on the record.
Next up is the latest single, “What Could Have Been Love.” Now I have mixed feelings on this song. I love the melody and chorus and I can’t stop listening to the track, but I also think it is a song that was made for radio to sell units.
Whatever wrong doing I found with “What Could Have Been Love” is undone however by the next track, “Street Jesus.” “Street Jesus” is centered on a bluesy riff by Brad Whitford who had been kicking the lick around for 15 years, but it has finally found a home on this track. To me this song would fit nicely in the bands catalog between the songs “Toys in The Attic” and the great bluesy number, “Rats in The Cellar.” What really makes the song great is how it features excellent guitar work from Whitford.
Next up is the track “Can’t Stop Loving You,” but unlike the other ballads on the album I don’t think this track is throw away track. The beginning starts off with a very Beatles-esque Mellotron intro, but then leads into an acoustic guitar driven section that is accompanied by Kramer’s steady beat. On the chorus Steven Tyler gets harmonized by Carrie Underwood who adds awesome flavor to the track especially when she takes the next verse which also features a lyrical reference to Aerosmith’s 1973 song “Mama Kin.” Underwood takes the next chorus and is nicely harmonized by Tyler. This then leads into a very Beatles-esque breakdown, but then that country flavor comes back in with the final chorus.
“Lover Alot” is the next track, and this song is another straight forward rocker that features grooving guitars and Tyler’s vocal spitting on top of the music. What gets me with this track however is Hamilton’s bass which makes this track sound super tight. He finds the perfect space in between being a rhythmic instrument and a melodic instrument. Something many bass players simply fail at.
The next track that caught my ear was “We All Fall Down” which was penned by Dianne Warren who also wrote the bands hit, “I Don’t Want To Miss a Thing.” The song starts off with guitar, orchestra, and piano. Tyler’s vocal seamlessly floats over the top of the song. The chorus then comes in and this is when the song reaches climax especially the third time around.
“Freedom Fighter” is a Joe Perry penned song and it is also sung by the guitarist. This song is not bad or good it’s just kind of there. “Closer” follows “Freedom Fighter,” and I have to say that it is another filler track that I didn’t really enjoy.
Now interestingly enough one of my favorite tracks on the album is the very James Bond-esque Perry written track, “Something.” This track is a real rocker and features great swaggering guitar parts that sound awesome. Perry’s vocals also sound good on this track something that has always been a give or take thing for him.
The Album concludes with the song “Another Last Goodbye” which is actually a ballad I enjoyed. The track which was written by Tyler, Perry, and Desmond Child is actually the perfect mellow way to conclude the album.
Music From Another Dimension! is a great album with fifteen tracks worth of solid Aerosmith material, and now it’s time for you to make your judgement. Go out and get this album, and see why I am thrilled with it. Aerosmith delivered now it’s our time to receive.