Aerosmith - Music From Another Dimension

Music From Another Dimension
Aerosmith are caught between a rock and a hard place. They’ve been there, done that. Twice or maybe even three times, in their long and storied career, soooooo the question that begs an answer is where the funk does one go from there ?  Well back to square number one! Back to the start!
The band, went back to their old producer Jack Douglas and kicked out all the outside writers in an effort to re-establish themselves as a valid songwritting partnership and as a proper band in order to rejuvenate themselves and recapture their mojo... did it work?! I’d dare say - Yay!
This album sounds in a lot of places like 70s Aero. It’s got that vintage swagger and funk and spirit and attitude about it that sounds beautifully retro, without sounding dated. In other words it sounds quite timeless.
“Love XXX” (3 times), may sound like a cheap an nasty porno, and it’s not far off, from being a good candidate title, but it’s a funky and thumbing opener that struts its stuff as it rocks the "joint" opening up, the album...
“Oh Yeah” has a really dirty rock n roll rhythm, and lot of annoying percussion – but it’s good! There’s some mean guitar solo in the middle section of the song as well…
“Beautiful” tries to be a highly rhythmical – kind-of-a-"modern rocker". It's not exactly rap and it's not exactly rock, it’s actually a weird, hybrid.
It’s quite interesting in fact. It’s rather modern, not necessarily in a bad way, but the “chorus” is not exactly something to write home about… the verses, kinda work, it’s a smart enough idea… but the chorus is a bit of a let down here....
“Tell Me” is a rather depressive song/ballad that’s not quite a highlight, but seems to be there for cathartic purposes... since certain people in the band, did go through some rough times so maybe there was some need to exorcise some demons.
“Out Go the Lights” is a horns vs guitars type of bluesier type of tune, that Aero pull off, quite capably and pays tribute to the band's influences. While it would have sat more comfortably among the “Honking on Bobo” material, it does not feel out of place here.
“Legendary Child” is one of the lead of singles and lead off videos and its a “Get a Grip” leftover where the band sort of “keeps its own tongue – firmly planted in its own cheek” as they check some of their own lyrics and plays some old licks.... Ugh.... old rope or a creative throwback?
You 'd be the judge... But I kinda, liked it!
“What Could Have Been Love” is a good, ballad, that’s not predictable and sounds quite heartfelt. It’s not “I Don’t want to miss a thing no 2” and #@$@#$@# thank God for that! It’s simpler, less orchestrated, less f#$#@ing pretentious and more honest.
“Street Jesus” is PURE F@CKING GOLD! This song is directly going into the best ofs! It’s a bonafide. Aero-classic! It’s a new “Sweet Emotion” a new “Rats in the Cellar”! It’s fast and it’s furious and its awesome…Stevo is just spewing out the lyrics with such aplomb that it just leaves me breathless! It’s just like some kind of hoodoo, voodoo, medicine, man, doing his thing!
Predictably the country tinged “Can’t Stop Lovin’ You” a duet with the American Idol winner Carrie Underwood, is a dross!
A sloppy, messy, vomit inducing, by the numbers ballad that Bon Jovi would be proud of... UGH. Well, I could have lived, WITHOUT IT! I’m sure, it will be the next single. If this was TP, I’d wipe, my bottom with it ! (It’s not THAT bad – it’s actually decent – but it’s the predictability and the idea that this will make the hickeys – buy it in droves and they DO still BUY actual copies!!! Putting to shame the rest of the downloading/stealing world).
I initially hated “Lover a Lot” when I first heard it all compressed over the inter-porn. (that’s what I tend to call internet, as according to studies – 70% of people tend to use it to download porn any way!). Now, I have to say that I am rather impressed. It’s a modernized, mid era, little rocking stick of dynamite that actually goes: Boom! Well Done, Aero boys !
“We All Fall Down” is a good piano laden ballad, if not a little simple. At least it’s not too pretentious... I kinda hate the bells, towards its end, they tend to sound too festive and with the album being released in November it’s too damn close to Xmas, so they do sound quite, silly, really!
“Freedom Fighter” starts up quite emphatically with a biting riff, and Joe Perry assuming vocal duties and it honky tonks an rocks n rolls it’s way quickly outta place, leaving quite a pleasant memory, which is good!
“Closer” is a big sentimental, bluesy rocker, that tormentingly drags the tatters of an on and off, dysfunctional, but basically, broken down relationship around… and just rocks you to the bottom of your soul... where there might be a hole and where the garden never grows... ye know.
“Something” is something of a mystery, a more progressive, 70s tune that sorta sounded a bit like The Who and the Floyd, with Perry taking over the vocals again and Tyler apparently drumming away on this one. It’s dark and the lyrics sound quite pissed off, all about people, that tried to rip the band off and all that.
Finally “Another Last Goodbye” is another piano ballad and a disgustingly simple one at that. It’s barely has a handful of keys and a handful of strings but it’s minimalism – makes it simply wonderful!
The really beautiful (silver foil cover/but then the cover is a bit dodgy), but ridiculously oversized “3 disk” special edition also features another 3 “Bonus Tracks” on a separate CD, namely “Up On The Mountain” that also features Tom Hamilton’s annoying lead vocal, which is a majorly bad idea... (ST’s vocal can be heard here and there and sounds SO much better!) The track ain’t something too great any way, it’s a bit of a leftover – and it seems to have been intended as a Japanese/SE bonus… but… hey. “Oasis In The Night” is a snoozer with Perry assuming the lullaby duties. “Sunny Side of Love” seems to be the one track from the 3, that’s kinda worthy of including, it’s a laid back and easy-breasy, sorta acoustic, drift away, melodic love song, that’s not a weepy ballad, but you know – a sort of celebratory, sexy, sleek and silky number.
Finally there’s a third disk, a DVD this time, with a load of stuff, most of it, (but not all), superficial as one could guess. So, we’re treated to 4 videos “Same Old Song and Dance (Live)” a fake “live” promo for “Oh Yeah”, “Rats in The Cellar (Live)” and “Train Kept A-Rolling (Live)” those are not bad… I take it at the time of pre-mastering the “Legendary Child” promo video must have not been made available for not including it, for any other reason would be kinda lame. Now there’s also a conversation between the mighty “Toxic Twins” Joe & Steven and at times they seem a little uneasy with each other, or I just dunno, maybe that's the way they are. There are also extended solo interviews which I really could not be arsed to watch, as I find this sort of making of docs and interview bits quite boring to be honest... and there’s also a bunch of photos from the studio, taken by Brad... me thinks. A full concert, would have been SUCH A BETTER IDEA, but... hey... maybe next time.
Now, “Music From Another Dimension” offers a bunch of pretty cool songs and that’s something that might appeal to some longtime Aerofans – that might find some stuff worth diggin’ in, in it. But at the same time the album doesn’t really come with a worldwide smash hit single. “Legendary Child” is nowhere near as catchy as “Amazing” or “Crazy” or any of the gazillion of hits that the big 90s Aero albums spawned so... I guess, Sony might be quite pissed of and might just drop the ball and run away as fast as the contract allows them to do so.
Well, the battle ain’t exactly won, but the war doesn’t seem to be lost either. The band seems to be recapturing their mojo and finding its stepping after years of BS including calculated media stunts, with threats about Tyler potentially exiting the band and really fiesty tours after he’d eventually return to the fold.
Still masters of their craft the guys that delivered ROCKS can still throw down a pretty "shiny one", now and again... so, while this album is "good" but not "great", I hope that they might as well, decide that if they are going to do another one, before they possibly decide to call it quits, that they might decide to do so in style and that they might decide to go out with a BIG BANG! For the time being “Music From Another Dimension” will be keeping us good company and sould keep us entertained and content an ’appy!