Since their 1970s heyday, Aerosmith has seemingly spent more time and effort trying to tear itself apart rather than trying to make music. Constant struggles within the band and within each musician’s lives make it almost unbelievable that the band is still alive let alone even releasing albums. Gone are the days of Aerosmith trying to break new ground, but they were never that kind of band to tread new ground anyway. Their survival has endured because of solid interplay between Joe Perry and Brad Whitford on guitar and for vocalist Steven Tyler’s vocals and persona.
Aerosmith has not released an album of original material since 2001’s Just Push Play, and with its members having spent these last 12 years feuding, falling off stages, going to rehab and judging American Idol, we were not sure if this day would come when they was a new original Aerosmith release. With 2012, we are treated to Music From Another Dimension, and by “dimension,” we were all hoping that the band meant “time” so that we could hear some Aerosmith music that held up to their early work.
First and foremost, the best thing about Music From Another Dimension is the chance to hear Joe Perry and Brad Whitford play guitar. Without a doubt, this is always the best thing about any Aerosmith album. The guitar duo play off of each other like not too many other guitar tandems out there. The blues-insprired rock riffs are the glue that held the Aerosmith ship together all of these years. Tyler is no slouch on vocals either. Love him or hate him, his voice is not much different than it was a couple of decades ago.
With the release of Music From Another Dimension, the band brought back producer Jack Douglas, who oversaw albums including Toys in the Attic and Rocks, both of which are widely considered to be their best releases. The songwriting credits are varied and deeper than recent releases with the band participating more in the writing process. As far as the tone of the album goes, the band sounds as good as ever with the guitars’ bluesy tones taking center stage.
With a plethora of songs to choose from, the album is somewhat varied with more of the pop-rock songs that we have been getting for the last two decades from them along with the obligatory ballads that come with every Aerosmith release. Ever since the band landed its first No. 1 with Donâ€™t Want to Miss a Thing, we have had to endure far too many of these love ballads have. These tracks have become part of their legacy and they are hear to stay. For the most part, we could do without most of them, but the worst part about them is that every time the album begins to hit a groove, we are handed another love song to take us down a notch. The highlight of the album is the throwback track Street Jesus with its relapse in time back to early Aerosmith where the songs were about the riff and it was pure blues and rock and roll that dominated each album.
Overall, Music From Another Dimension is exactly what I expected. It has some near hits and a bunch of wide misses, but is not a bad listen at all. If you went in expecting another Rocks, then you would have had to been kidding yourself. This album was released at this point in time to cash in on Tyler’s rise in popularity due to judging American Idol. Make no mistake about it. They did it for the money first and foremost. I am not faulting them for that. It is the American way. I just applaud them for still having something left after all of these years.