Music From Another Dimension! is Aerosmith’s 15th studio album and the band’s first release since their putrid blues-based cover album Honkin’ on Bobo from 2004. The burning question in this album review: Is this new record a powerful comeback album of sorts or another over-produced heap of slop?
The legendary Boston hard rock group has been through their share of ups and downs over the last six years: from frontman Steven Tyler’s throat surgery to their very own Guitar Hero game; from mega world tours to the band’s near implosion; and of course Tyler’s stint as a judge on American Idol.
Music from Another Dimension! has its strengths and weaknesses. Commendable attributes include beat-heavy tracks such as “Out Go The Lights,” “Lover Alot” (that is how the band spells it), and “Beautiful” led by drummer Joey Kramer; aggressive riffage and lead guitars from the mighty Joe Perry-Brad Whitford tandem on “Street Jesus” and the first single “Legendary Child;” and I hate to admit it, but the duet with country superstar Carrie Underwood on “Can’t Stop Lovin’ You” is pretty damn good.
Weaknesses lie in the album’s length, which ultimately means that there is too much fluff. If this record featured 11 – 12 at the max – of the strongest tracks, it would be able to stand up to their work of the early 1990′s (not the magic of the mid 1970′s, let’s be realistic). I would cut away the fat, namely the final three songs: “Closer” (a sluggish ditty), “Something” (a trampy dragger), and “Another Last Goodbye” (a soft piano ballad, which would be great – it was penned by the masterful Desmond Child – if someone of Freddie Mercury’s caliber was on the mic).
The opening track “Luv XXX” leaves me with mixed feelings. The leads are strong and parts of the tune groove; however, a leadoff song needs to energize listeners, not entrap them in a state of monotony. One thing is for sure: the album gets much better.
All in all, Music from Another Dimension! is a good hard rock album, featuring the band’s best material in over a decade. The presence of producer Jack Douglas (Get Your Wings, Toys in the Attic) is a nice touch, Tyler is one of the greatest frontman of all time, and Perry’s leads are worthy of idol worship. This is not a pile of over-produced crap, which is precisely what I was expecting. Therefore, Music exceeds expectation in the Gears of Rock’s book. 3.5 STARS