So by now you have heard of the hoopla that is Music From Another Direction, the new album from Aerosmith which they tout as the return to rock and roll that seemed to be missing from their previous albums. Judging by the three star reviews, it isn't the big seller that we thought that they had in them. It's no Rocks or Toys In The Attic, not even Pump, more like Get A Grip Part 2.
They had a good run on Geffen but their return to Columbia has been spotty at best and Music From Another Dimension continues that run. I think they tried to please everybody, with the long 68 minute play time they don't make albums like this anymore. It was supposed to be a Jack Douglas produced effort but they had to include Marti Frederiksen once again to produce the pukey ballads and who's bright idea was to add Carrie Underwood to this? Or add a Diane Warren song as well. Not my idea of rock and roll kids.
Joe Perry sings on two songs and I think that's a record. Usually Joe gets one but for some reason gets another one for rock and roll value and although he's not the best vocalist he adds some much needed rock and roll attitude. Tyler's tenure at American Idol seemed to rub off on the terrible What Could Have Been Love. The record starts out promising with the interesting Outer Limits intro leading into Luv XXX with Julian Lennon adding cool backing vocals and Oh Yeah which sounds like vintage Aerosmith. The problem is once again, too many ballads that sink the record and we really didn't need Diane Warren or Desmond Child cowrites, even if the songs were old ones. Steven Tyler should have saved them for his solo album and get Frederiksen to coproduce that.
I think had the record left the ballads and Carrie off this would have given Get A Grip a run for the money, Honkin On Bobo remains their best of Return To Columbia and who knows this record is slightly better than the overblown Nine Lives or hapless Just Push Play but I think the boys made a play to make everybody happy but in the end, they didn't and Music From Another Dimension goes on way too long. If you care, there's a Deluxe edition with three more songs, 2 CDs and a DVD. Feel free to check out on your own.
And so it goes.
PS. upon a second listen it was actually a better sounding album then originally thought. The Carrie Underwood duet wasn't too bad and she didn't oversing for a change. Again too many ballads and Joe Perry goes 1 for 2 in the listenable department. In the long run, it's probably their best since Honkin On Bobo although that album still remains better sounding. I give them this, Music From Another Dimension is better than Get A Grip or 9 Lives. But still tries to be all everything to everybody. To which I give it a two and half star rating.
PPS, in the latest edition, Bob Lefsetz writes off Aerosmith's latest and adds Van Halen, ZZ Top and Donald Fagen to the forgotten new music of the decade. Think we should close the record stores down over this kiddies?