Talk about a yin and yang "comeback album."
On the plus side, producer Jack Douglas (Get Your Wings, Toys in the Attic, Rocks, Draw the Line) is on board. And the band, when in classic Aerosmith mode (as on the opener "Luv XXX") can still deliver the goods.
On the downside, the loathsome "outside songwriter" hacks are back: Diane Warren ("We All Fall Down"), Desmond Child ("Another Last Goodbye") and Jim Vallance ("Legendary Child"). The Warren song is syrupy slop, as is the Child song, but at least Vallance song rocks, in a Bryan Adams kind of way. You're almost waiting for Tyler to croon about how he got his first real six string at the five and dime. Why is it SO IMPOSSIBLE for these guys to go into a room somewhere and crank out a dozen or so Tyler/Perry/Whitford tracks?
It's not the idea that every Aerosmith song needs to rock the paint off the walls. After all, we all loved "Dream On," "Seasons Of Wither," "Home Tonight," and other "ballad" tracks back in their glory days, right?
The objection I have to the outsiders is that they're hacks. That's it, songwriting hacks "crafting" lightweight pop pap that is radio airwave-friendly. That said, this album is still about 1000 times better than Just Push Play, an album so truly loathsome that at any time following its release you could get seemingly endless used copies on Amazon for under a buck.
There's been a lot of grousing about the Carrie Underwood track, but what can I say? It's much, much better than the aforementioned tracks penned by Warren and Child, and it does in fact have a nice "classic Aerosmith" sound...well, maybe until Carrie takes her first lead vocal. But it's STILL not the worst track on the album.
It's not easy being an Aerosmith fan, especially when I count the hours I've spent driving around in my car listening to Rocks. I think we'd all like the band to deliver a new album that just sends it flying out of the park like THAT one did, right? And I don't mean rubber-stamping past glories...look at how many times Neil Young has had a wobbly album or two and came roaring back with something like this year's Psychedelic Pill?
Songs like "Lover Alot" have that old Toxic Twins swagger, but good grief, they go from that one right into the Diane Warren song.
THREE stars. Not FOUR, not FIVE, but THREE. I'm not saying this is a BAD album, I'm just saying they can do BETTER, because they've already DONE better. When you've been GREAT, "good" just ain't good ENOUGH.
If they can deal with the inter-band squabbling and personal dramas for another few years, and LOSE the hacks, JUST LOSE THEM, maybe they still have a five-sar album left in them. Maybe not. But in an age where the American Music Awards name Justin Bieber the "Performer of the Year," a three star Aerosmith album is better than no Aerosmith album at all...right?
Cut the old guys some slack, please! They are still tuneful, they are still comin' up with some sassy and interesting lyrics, and they are still handling well the chords and runs we so love. What more could you ask from these elderly gents who still know how to rock?
I had no expectations, so I wasn't disappointed. I'd like to see what Bruno Mars, Maroon 5, One Direction and Justin Bieber are doing in their 70's. Steven Tyler is a master, as is Joe Perry. They deserve respect and not pity. They've pulled out their genius through time and it has stood the test. So it isn't the "old Aerosmith," or the "new Aerosmith." It's ludicrous for anyone to expect them to sound like they did 40 years ago, and overly optimistic to expect them to create something very new at their ages. Who does that? Not even Picasso. Gold is gold and Aerosmith is definitely gold!
I wanted something pretty and I wanted something wild on this album. "Oh Yeah," may not have been wild enough but it almost was and I enjoyed its humor. "What Could Have Been Love" and "Another Last Goodbye," are to be savored for their poignancy and wisdom. I can't imagine a 20-something writing these songs or singing them convincingly. Speaking of which, "We All Fall Down" rocks us nicely into that feel-good upliftment that so many recent singers have created (Jason Mraz, Katy Perry, Lady Gaga) and which fans need.
If you've ever liked Aerosmith and have no ax to grind or ridiculous expectations, you won't go wrong buying this album.
on November 7, 2012
I am listening to "Music From Another Dimension" for the second time and, as with most new releases by older groups, it's growing on me. Sure, it doesn't sound like "Rocks", but why should it? That was almost 40 years ago! Can you believe that? These guys are 60+ years old and like me and YOU, yes YOU, they have aged and changed and so has their music. Great? Maybe not, but present day Aerosmith? Oh yeah! I saw them live recently and they still rock! Soon we're not going to have the pleasure of listening to anything new from classic groups like this because they're going to retire.
No break down of the tracks from me. Some are good, some not so good, but I buy CDs for everything that's on them and I'll listen to all of them. All 15 of these songs will join the 17000+ on my Ipod which includes the rest of the Aerosmith catalog. Do I like the ballads? Yes. I haven't created an Aerosmith image that excludes songs like "Can't Stop Loving You" or "Don't Want To Miss A Thing". Why does everybody hate that song?
As for Amazon's service, I received this CD on the day it was released. In all the orders I have placed through Amazon I have never had a problem.
on February 25, 2015
I'm a longtime, passionate fan of Aerosmith. I was born one month after "Rocks" was released and as a child of MTV's golden era I followed their comeback (when many had already written them off). From 1987-1994 their music poured out of my stereo more than any other band or artist, and not just their MTV era music; I grabbed Pandora's Box quickly after its release. I saw them 2x on the Get A Grip tour. Then, things started to change...more filler, less Aerosmith. After two decades of sounding less and less like the band I had worshiped (in album form, at least), I heard they were making an album with Jack Douglas, their classic era producer. I was very excited, and when "Legendary Child" came out, I was counting the days. Well, needless to say (since most of the other reviews already have), this album turned out to be a teaser of what could have been.
You can't go into a studio with the producer who you made your most classic and well-loved material with and expect it to sound like your classic material when you invite a circus of additional personnel. I don't hate this album, but it frustrates me because the hints of classic flavor show that they still have it in them to make a great album if they would just write and record an album as a band, the way they used to. The only listenable tracks, in my opinion, are Oh Yeah, Beautiful, Out Go The Lights, Legendary Child, Street Jesus and Lover Alot. That's six tracks out of FIFTEEN. No offense to Diane Warren or Carrie Underwood, but they have no place on an Aerosmith album. Even Desmond Child (who has written a a lot of great Rock tracks and some of Aerosmith's biggest hits) should have been left out of this one because I think he's a creative crutch for a band that needs to re-ignite the collaborative capacity among its members. In summary, this is an album with a few highlights, sprinkled over a heap of songs that are massively underwhelming.
As with any other band I love, being a fan doesn't mean I'm always going to like what they're doing but I never give up hope on them. These guys are GIANTS, they're my Led Zeppelin and they're still KILLING IT live. I think Steven needs to get a solo album out of his system because I see that as a huge part of the problem with the last few albums; he's trying to infuse his non-Aerosmith ideas into their sound and the guys are just going along with it. There were so many reasons the guys had for why this album wasn't a success, but none of them were the truth. They're not functioning as a band in the studio, they're handing over too much creative control to outsiders. Look at the writing credits on "Toys" and "Rocks", then look at the credits for every album from Nine Lives until now (even after Pump)...case closed.
If I could quarterback their next one, I'd have Joey, Brad and Tom go into a studio for a few weeks and lay down some groundwork for about 10-12 tracks, then have Joe and Steven come in and stir the pot with either Nick Raskulenicz or Brendan O'Brien and choose 10 solid tracks for an album they'd feel confident playing in its entirety among their classic setlist.
on November 29, 2012
I think there is such a thing as too much filler on this album. Jack Douglas is a great producer, however I don't want to hear his introduction on LuvXXX every time I listen to the album. The same can be said for the intro to Street Jesus. Too many ballads, especially Diane Warren's Another Last goodbye. All in all an ok album. Not great, not what I would have expected, but ok.
on November 29, 2012
I find that most of this album is really very good. There are multiple uptempo songs that rock out raw and hard (Luv XXX, Lover Alot, Legendary Child and more...) and a few slower heavier songs that are quite good as well (Closer, Something, Oasis in the Night). Yes there are too many ballads, at least 3 too many, however, with the extra tracks provided on the deluxe version(s) of this CD one gets all together somewhere around 60-70 minutes of solid rock 'n roll, (subtracting 3 ballads). There isn't nearly enough of that coming out any more these days. Of course paying extra for the deluxe variants of this CD is annoying but that's how it is. Finally, the mix on this CD is better than I've heard from Aerosmith in a long, long time. It's raw but still well balanced and doesn't sound overproduced. A major improvement over the last two studio albums of original material - Nine Lives and Just Push Play....
The criticisms of this album appear to me to be far out of proportion. Aerosmith has changed, all bands change. There will never be another album like Rocks or Toys in the Attic. That being said Aerosmith can still rock hard and raw (especially live, take a look at "You Gotta Move" - DVD). In fact, I would say that they sound better live in their older years than they did when they were younger. This is probably due to a number of reasons: a measure of sobriety leading to improved musicianship, longer variations/jams on songs in concert, and the better sounds systems available today.
Give the new album a listen. Rip the songs to a music file and delete the sappy ballads and you're left with a damn good rock 'n roll record.. Enjoy!!
My two cents anyway.....
on September 3, 2014
I have waited a very long time to review this CD; reluctant to slam it after a first listen. Joe Perry has recently stated in the press that he is very disappointed in the public's reception to this album, and the lack of publicity that the album received from the record company. As a Aerosmith fan for close to 40 years, it simply amounts to the fact that this album is not very good. The spark that gave us 'Rocks', 'Toys in the Attic', 'Permanent Vacation' and 'Pump' is missing. Yes, the classic crunchy guitar riffs are ever present, and a few songs--at certain points-sound very similar to 'Draw the Line' and 'Sweet Emotion.' You have to wonder if the riff between Tyler and the band has permanently wounded the song writing team that brought us those classic Aerosmith tunes from the albums mentioned previously. By the way, what is up with six ballads??? Come on, this is supposed to be rock and roll.
on April 7, 2013
Why all the fuss over this album? So many people just want to complain over the amount of ballads on this album, but with an album with 15 songs on the standard edition, why complain? I own and enjoy all of Aerosmith's albums, old and new (Yes, that includes Just Push Play), and I think this is one of the best ones. Is it Toys In The Attic, Rocks, or Pump? No, but I'm proud of this album. With songs like LUV XXX, Oh Yeah, Tell Me, Out Go The Lights, Legendary Child, Street Jesus, We All Fall Down, and Another Last Goodbye, it's a no brainer that this album is great. I own the deluxe edition from Walmart, so it came with four extra songs: Shakey Ground, Up On The Mountain, Oasis In The Night, and Sunny Side Of Love. Combined with the other 15 songs on the standard album, that's 19 songs to listen to, and if you can enjoy at least half of them, then there shouldn't be a problem.
LUV XXX is the best album opener on an Aerosmith album since Young Lust on Pump, and it's actually one of my absolute favorite Aerosmith songs. Oh Yeah sounds like something that could have been from the first album, it's bluesy and rocking. Beautiful sounds like something from Just Push Play, it has a simple, but cool sounding riff and great verses; the chorus is a little weird, but it has grown on me a lot. Tell Me is Tom Hamilton's first songwriting credit since Janie's Got A Gun on Pump, and not only that, but it's his first solo songwriting credit, and he did an incredible job. Tell Me is amazing and powerful, I can't think of a better way to describe it. Out Go The Lights is a song that sounds like the child of Get The Lead Out and Last Child from Rocks, it's a great rocker and it has a riff that'll get stuck in your head. Legendary Child is a song written during the recording of Get A Grip, but the song was unfortunately left off of the album. It has a Zeppelin-like riff with lyrics that detail Aerosmith's entire career and even references some early songs (Walk This Way and Adam's Apple). What Could Have Been Love is a country-like ballad that took a little time to grow on me; I used to hate it, but I can enjoy it now. Street Jesus is the first Tyler/Perry/Whitford song since Voodoo Medicine Man, and it's the heaviest song on the album, incredible rocker. Can't Stop Lovin' You... no. Just no. Lover Alot is another song that took some time to grow on me, but I always loved the verses of the song, the chorus just took some time. We All Fall Down is a beautiful ballad written by Diane Warren, it's so amazing and so inspirational. Freedom Fighter is sung by Joe Perry and it sounds like a song that could have been on one of his early solo albums, another great rocker. Closer is another ballad that, while not a song that sticks out to me, is a good song, you can definitely enjoy it quite a bit. Something is another song that Joe Perry sings on the album; it details the band's hatred of their past (and possibly current) managers. Nice way to stick it to the man. Good song. Another Last Goodbye is a ballad that could easily compete with You See Me Crying, Home Tonight, and Mia. It may even be better. It is so beautiful, I can't think of a better way to close an album.
Now those extra four songs that came with the deluxe edition from Walmart. Shakey Ground is a cover of an old funk song by The Temptations, and it fits really well with Aerosmith, they did an incredible job with it. It's extremely funky. Up On The Mountain is Tom Hamilton's first lead vocal performance on an Aerosmith song, and it is incredible. Great riff and great lyrics. Oasis In The Night is another song sang by Joe Perry, and it is a ballad. I never thought I'd see the day where Joe Perry would sing a ballad, but it happened and he did a great job. Sunny Side Of Love unfortunately never interested me.
Overall, this album is incredible and I highly recommend it to any Aerosmith fan.
on November 27, 2012
I bought this because I love older 'Smith. Even found small redeeming quality in 'Get A Grip'. They truly lost their way now. Don't get it. But I still cant give it a 1. maybe out of pure respect? or maybe because I am not a total 'die hard' Aerosmith fan. If I was, I would be heartbroken and wish for a 0 rating for this return CD.
They should have waited longer.
Bad in 2 regards. they are trying to relive their 80's early 90's ballad filled hit-streak (but failing miserably), and they really left their ba**s behind on this. There isn't much passion where there should be, even in the soft tracks (which compile 80% of the CD). The cheese factor is strong here. Sounds very 'by the numbers'. Add the fact that Tyler's voice is overbearingly on top in the mix, and that there is no real punch to the tracks except for the sound quality and you get this uninspired, directionless offering. Its a pretty boring mess. An extremely hyped and 'polished' mess. Especially for us old fans.
I bought it because it was cheap and I figured, with so many songs and liking most of the bands stages, a few songs had to be keepers. Not the case. I mean of 15 tracks not even 3 or 4 good songs? Its nothing offensively bad, just very very very safe. no real substance or swagger you would expect from the band. I wont be going back to this one very often because i don't remember most of it.
Oh well, its only money.. But save yours and if you want decent Aerosmith look elsewhere. Buy 'Rocks' or 'Live Bootleg' from the 70's, 'Rock In A Hard Place' from the 80's or 'Pump', 'Get a Grip' for later stuff, not this. Don't be fooled by the pretty package. Not good.
on November 6, 2012
I am going to preface this by the statements I am not a fanboy (I have been An Aerosmith Fan since '73) and I know most of the time negative reviews are associated with the a click on the "no" button. So regardless, here it goes:
If I could set the wayback machine to 1976, crank "Toys In The Attic" on vinyl again and ask myself the question "I wonder what Aerosmith will sound like in 2012?". "Music From Another Dimension" would be a "good" answer.
Granted, the album still sounds like Aerosmith, but it just sounds old, contrived, weak, uninspired, digital, sterile, boring, cliched and commercial. Oh...I know what some are thinking and don't even go there! Guitarists have been rehashing the same Chuck Berry riffs for over 50 years and some still kick fraggin ass. Not here. The deal breakers are the power ballads. Is it just me or do the phrases "return to the old sound" and "duet with Carrie Underwood" seem like an obvious contradiction? What we actually have is a slight return to the "old sound". Just enough 70's Aerosmith to possibly reel in longtime fans; and then an over abundance of power ballads for the longtime "Jaded" fans. Power ballads geared more toward iTunes
download rather than pleasing longtime fans who pray for a shimmer of "Back In The Saddle", again. I won't go into a track by track analysis, you can get from other reviews. I look at the album as a whole and it just disappoints. Finally, there is an overall vibe these guys just don't care anymore: don't care about the fans, the music, each other, and what Aerosmith once meant in the world of rock n' roll. Well, they may care about their PayPal or 401K accounts.
Like a wise man once said, "If something doesn't make sense, it is about money, someone involved is literally crazy, or both". I leave anyone who saw Aerosmith back at Comiskey Park in '76 to figure out which applies here.