RATINGS: A = must own B = buy it C= average D = yawn F = puke

Aerosmith - Music From Another Dimension
Columbia Records


Rating: B+

The last true Aerosmith album was 2004's Honkin' For Bobo, the last album of all original music goes clear back to Just Push Play. Millions of fans from around the globe, from '70's era hard rockers to the '80's kinder and gentler (and sober) Aerosmith to youngsters who liked Steven Tyler on American Idol, have waited in anticipation for the new album. Truth be told, none of them should be disappointed.

Aerosmith stayed true to all dimensions of their past. There are hard rockers like "Oh Yeah" and "Street Jesus" that will satisfy the gray haired fans of Rocks and there are sappy ballads that your high school girlfriend would have loved in 1988. For the newbie's who mostly want pop stuff that will be seen on Entertainment Tonight the band have a duet with Idol sensation and Country superstar Carrie Underwood called "Can't Stop Loving You" as well a song, "Freedom Fighter" featuring Johnny Depp on background vocals.

Okay, from Classic Rock Revistied's point of view, the best stuff here features the guitar riffage of Joe Perry and Brad Whitford. When these two boys are happy and the Marshall amps are cranked to 11 and Steven Tyler sounds like a cat who's just burned his balls on a hot tin roof, Aerosmith is one of the best bands in the history of rock and roll. With Producer Jack Douglas joining the production team, this is the man who produced all that good pot smoking music back in the '70's, there was bound to be some of that. Just check out "LUV XXX" and you will see this band's still got it (although it does tip the hat to their opening band on their current tour, Cheap Trick's classic sound). "Oh Yeah" is another one that just screams of the old days. Man, this band can P-L-A-Y when they want to and on this album they clearly wanted to. The tune "Out Go the Lights" is another great old school song as is "Lover Alot" while "Legendary Child" falls somewhere inbetween.

The ballads are there and they are good and well written and sappy, but, hey, what are you going to do? The band made a gazillion dollars doing this type of song, so they are bound to keep that in there. They would, financially be stupid not to. The track that will probably be all over the media is the worst track on the album. Why oh why oh why would Aerosmith do a song with Carry Underwood? YUCK. This is pure crap and it is too bad one can't buy the CD without the song on it. It is a commercial grab and should be ignored by real rock fans. Do not, I repeat, do not let this keep you from buying the album, however, as there are a lot killer classic 'Smith riffs on this sucker.

"Freedom Fighter" and "Something" are sung by Joe Perry and he does a good job. His vocals are nowhere near in the class of Steven Tyler, who, by the way, sounds amazing from beginning to end. Perry must have been nervous as hell stepping up to the microphone knowing that he was going to be judged against one of the best singers of all time by millions of fans. To be fair, he should have made Tyler play a guitar solo to even the playing field!

At the end of the day, this is a damn good rock album. There is some pop but there is plenty of that funkafied, balls to the wall, bad boy rock on here as well. In fact, this is the closest we have seen of the real Aerosmith since Permanent Vacation. There are a few clunkers and a few too many ballads and a few corporate media grab type guest stars but, underneath all of that, Aerosmith is rocking hard. True fans from the good old days will breath a collective sigh of relief and actually enjoy cranking up a few of these tunes time and time again. Something old school rockers have not been able to do with Aerosmith for a long time.

Remember, it was not long ago Steven Tyler was drinking cough syrup and yelling over the intercom system at Home Depot. It was not that long ago Aerosmith was auditioning other singers. Thank God the boys got their preverbal shit together and decided to make real music again.

Welcome back Aerosmith...we've missed you.

By Jeb Wright