America's Best-Selling Hard-Rock Band of All Time, Aerosmith Come Together for Their First Studio Album of All-New Material in 11 Years
Music From Another Dimension!: 4.5 Stars
For years now, a certain segment of hardcore Aerosmith fans has longed for the band to return to the raw and ragged hard-rock sound that characterized its output in the '70s. So when word began circulating a while back that the group's new effort would mark a reunion with producer Jack Douglas, the man behind the boards for classics like Get Your Wings, Toys in the Attic, and Rocks, many in the Aero-world believed this moment had finally arrived. Now that the long-awaited Music From Another Dimension! is here, have the retro-dreams of these Aero-fundamentalists finally been realized? The answer: not exactly. But for this day and age, we've been given something even better.
The fact is that Music From Another Dimension! is without doubt the most rough-edged and ballsy Aerosmith record in the last 20 years. Maybe even 30. But more significantly, it might also be the band's most sonically deep and stylistically sprawling effort ever, incorporating the varied elements of the band's musical DNA - stomping Brit blues-rock, Beatlesque harmonies, touches of psychedelia, pure pop melodies, frontman Steven Tyler's piano-ballad proclivities, flirtations with funk, soul, garage, and metal - to often awesome effect. Leadoff track "Luv XXX" for example, is introduced with a trademark curlicue gutbucket-blues lick from guitarist Joe Perry before launching in a Beatles-via-Cheap-Trick refrain that pits a chugging backbeat against swirling, stacked vocal melodies. And this type of sonic sensory overload is the order of the day. Across 15 tracks and more than an hour of music, the band's first collection of new studio material since 2001's Just Push Play packs plenty of the high-octane rockers and soaring power ballads at which Aerosmith have long excelled. But where the album really takes hold is in the more left field moments: the syncopated staccato riff, cowbell-assisted groove, and blues-harp blasts of "Out Go the Lights"; the '60s-style rave-up, complete with horns and soulful female backups, of "Oh Yeah"; the slow-burning slide-guitar and organ lines that color "Something."
Pick up a copy of Revolver to read the whole interview.