Aerosmith’s new album misses the target
Fighting through inner turmoil, physical ailments and stints of rehabilitation Aerosmith released their 15th studio album, “Music From Another Dimension,” Nov. 6.
The band attempts to regain its creative success from the ’70s by bringing back producer Jack Douglas, the legend responsible for the band’s vintage trifecta of mega-hits.
However, these senior citizens fail in their attempt by simply trying too hard.
Steven Tyler screeches like an injured toad, completely abandoning the high-range vocals fans have so adored. What’s left is a gasoline-drinking Axel Rose (Kid Rock) style country-rap that pierces the ears rather painfully.
The tracks weigh on the heavy side of the free-spirited, ramblin’ manrock’n’roll. The songs are an achingly distorted, over-simplified mass of noise. Shred-heavy guitar licks whine and bend repetitively through each measure, bleeding over into every song. The band’s first flute is even introduced, but it is not enough to add any kind of melody throughout the album.
Yet, the relationship between the lead guitarist and Tyleris admirable. Their explicitly raunchy lyrics are certainly evident throughout the album. And they create a high-energy, fun, sing-along cadence that will play well at social gatherings.
The 40-year-old musicians spared no expense, recruiting Johnny Depp to aid in backup vocals, paired with a few Motown soul singing females. They help mellow the excruciatingly rough texture that builds up in each song, but unfortunately is never released.
A collaboration with Carrie Underwood slows the freight-train tempo into a commercially sound country ballad radio stations won’t get enough of. And the over-zealous, funk-induced tracks “Oh Yeah” and “Legendary Child” might carry older fans back to Aerosmith’s golden years.
The limitations of a studio album hinder the larger-than-life sound the band has tried to create, and the music will do much better in a stadium-type venue.
In spite of this orchestrated jumble, Aerosmith is still one of the most successful American rock groups, and although this album is no benchmark in their musical history, it will find its way to the tops of the charts.
Benjamin Rader can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.