Year : 2012
Genre : Hard Rock, Circus Metal
Label : Columbia
Origin : United States
Rating : 6.9 / 10
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New Aerosmith album, old question : does the band stray away from their trademark emotional circus metal direction, or, will they stick to it with ruthless determination hidden behind an infinite flow of pink spandex? This, of course, is a pseudo-question, as the group never ONCE exhibited the urge to deviate from their ultraknown comfort zone, so it seems way too optimistic to expect anything more adventurous/experimental from the band now, after 223423 years of delivering the same circus music. This is a track by track review, with one little perk : - just to offer a nod for the retroid cover art - I will offer an opinion on the first actual track in a random point of this review. (Because the intro gives you a Timothy Learian declaration of how helpless you are, as Listener.) Other than that, we will listen to the album in its entirety from start to finish, BONUS! tracks included. Read on to know more about the new Aerosmith LP.
It so happens that I don't have much to say initially, as second track, "Oh Yeah" really is a Beatles song from 2012, and it is about procreation and sex. (As all Beatles songs are.) Same harmonic strategies and rhetorics, coated into a decently realized quasi-southern vibe which though never submits to the pronounced tints of blues - remains hopeful instead. Hopeful enough to not remember a thing of it.
"Beautiful" sports a verse that summons a Beasty Boys vibe, while the chorus and the climax reminds one of the ninja b-film movies starring Godlike Sho Koshugi. Listen to this particular movie theme song called "Back To The Shadows" to spot the tremendous similarity, or, to fail at spotting it. Be wary : the lyrics are much more cheesy in this track.
"Tell me" is a full musculature variant on the same old same old concept of bonfire romantics, and the track doubtless emerges as a decent recyclement of the earlier classic Aerosmith deliveries like "Crazy" and that other song which felt exactly like "Crazy". You know, the Aerosmith rock ballad vibe, that which permeates this LP aggressively, and this probably is the most important thing you are looking for if you are a devoted fan of this group.
"Out Go The Lights" is your spandex zoo metal embarrassment from 1992. Glam spandex hair fusion power circus metal, my love. The music sounds more terrible than this sentence, I'm sorry to say. Anatomically, we are talking about a formula that is reminiscent to the song called "Walk this way" : musical zoological ineptitude taken to the levels of immense retardation "fueled by" a complete lack of musical exigency. You are served monkey music. Steven Tyler, of course, still can sing like there is no tomorrow, and it baffles me greatly that Aerosmith, as a band, still is content with the act of including such an ultra-trite, tepid zoo metal/circus metal song as this. Even worse than that, the band decides to submit to the extremely petty-minded pseudo-charms of the central melodic progression, and they prolong it for miiiiiiiiiinutes and minutes as a climax. Oh my fucking God, why torture anything, circus metal "music" included? The HORROR! The MADNESS! Never again, a true embarrassment.
"Legendary Child" features a mini-tribute to the Guns 'N Roses song "Mr. Brownstone", and, this particular Aerosmith track, luckily, features much more dignity and thought than "Out Go The Lights", but don't expect too sharply defined wonders : the best part is the pre, in which momentum is being built for the chorus. The verse is shitty circus metal once again, the chorus is the rendition of a party you hope you would have a good time at, but everyone is drunk and wants to puke into your mouth. Not today, thank you. Kazoo in the background? Interesting.
"What Could Have Been Love" is yet another ballad, this time, along a "November Rain" + "Crazy" register. Oh my GOD, how many times we have heard this song, even though this is a new one. The song is the epitome of the picture perfect Aerosmith ballad, and it is engineered to be a picture perfect Aerosmith ballad. Fans are expected to ignite their lighters at the concert, and they will. If I come across as cynical, I assure you that this isn't my intent. It just depresses me that Aerosmith puts out the same song after 20 years. Why why? "Because they can". Fair enough I suppose, but where is the desire, the urge to EVOLVE? What the sheat!
"Street Jesus" is Aerosmith's reply on the much more sexy song "Boots of Chinese Plastic", and that is that. The epitome of the filler track, and the only thing happening in it is a demonstration that Steven Tyler still has it, of which a sober human never had any doubt. Still, this is a CHICK song, the track looks bad when a man is singing on it. Duh. The rudimentary breakdown at the middle gives place to a guitar solo, and I wish I could say that it ripped my fucking mind out, but it did not even manage to spot it. Oh - well.
"Can't Stop Lovin' You" is yet another variant on the radio friendly rock ballad direction of Aerosmith. There is a lady singing in it, too. The song has a country/folk vibe, and I imagine it is a great song to make out with an aroused grizzly while you are shitfaced drunk on the backseats of a 4x4. No, seriously, the song itself is the antitheses of Guns 'N Roses great song "You're Crazy", and this song, "Can't Stop Lovin' You" represents EVERYTHING I hate about music, even though I love music.
With "Lover Alot", the Aerosmith guys are afraid that they will turn into a giant cheesefactory, so they bring the high guns to administer plam-plam-putty-putty hard rock spandex machine gun paua'. Wow, wow. Urge finally is exhibited to affect you with cunning, as the band starts out with the chorus in an attempt to condition your awareness to its re-occurrence. Tell me about it. The song probably is better than it sounds to me like at this very moment, still being traumatized by the incomprehensible horror and harm done by previous entry, "Can't Stop Lovin' You". I wish you were trying harder. As for "Lover Alot", a definite piece to revisit, but, mostly for the chorus. I'm pretty sure that the guitars are synthetic in the verse, which is not a problem, but, the fact that I can spot that they are synthetic, IS a problem. OK, I have decided : the chorus kicks ass. The theme of course is hot chicks. Finally.
"We All Fall Down" is a melancholic piece compatible with scarcely populated bars - populated by whiskey bottles and a skeleton pianist, of course - though one has to give credit for Steven Tyler for a powerful emotional rendition. The song, for a change, has some kind of thought and some remembrance/promise of dignity fueling it, and this isn't "just" about sex, though pretty close to it.
"Freedom Fighter" is not sung by Steven Tyler. The song itself is a ZZ Top song, I swear to you. Has ZZ Top's "Under Pressure" written all over it. But the ZZ Top song packs way more more power and sex appeal than this attempt to conform has capacity to reach for. Look mom, I have a song called "Motor Massacre - Freedom Fita", too!!
"Closer" is another radio friendly ballad with a more gloomy chorus, but the conclusion of the song is that you need to have someone to get laid with. This is a new one, kind of. Yes, cynicism, first and last occasion in the year.
"Something" is a tiiiiiiired variant on the character of the institute of the great ZZ Top song, and, honestly, I think the album really starts to drag its feet during this one. The chorus reminds me of a forgotten Bob Dylan track, - thanks fucking God it is forgotten - and the guitar riff is a direct stealth from one of the theme songs from the great 1994 game "Descent" from the MIDI days. The song itself sounds terrible, in my opinion, and it makes me want to scratch my face off with a cheese grinder immediately.
"Another Last Goodbye" is quite literal : another last goodbye song. Emotional ballad with piano and synthetic orchestra, and harmonic passages and melodic arcs you have heard many many times before, in fact, the song balances between a Boyz 2 Men - Flap!, Flap!, Flap!, Flap! - declaration AND Elton John. Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah .... . . . . . I will endure it for this one time and never again. Risk free suicide is a better option than to listen to this song for a second time. At the middle ground, cellos are being humiliated via the mere act of being included in this song. Poor chellos. Disturbing shit. The track craves effects so desperately that it will have none on me. Steven Tyler at 4:06 : I suspected this is what the song is all about, but thanks for confirming.
As for the BONUS tracks that come with the DeLuxe Spandex Tank Top With Macho Women Wrapped In Chains On It Paua' edition, "Up On The Mountain" is another circus metal track with the same "first-3-frets-and-open-strings-only monkey-riffage" you can hear in "Walk This Way", or, in any other zoo metal song. If THIS is a BONUS track, I don't want to hear the rest. Wait, I already did! Oh well, again. This is a bitchslap.
BONUS track "Oasis In The Night" is a bonfire piece that reminds me of "Pinball Wizard" in its harmonic fascinations, but the lyrical theme and mood itself is pretty depressed, and the vocals are way too high in the mix, just to court my inner snob whom I can't ever hide anyway. The song drags its feet around and is an embarrassment to watch in my opinion, and I fail to give a sentiment regarding the tasteless coffee or the empty bed the singer is singing about, sorry. You are not feeling bad enough to make me care. I'm not a mean person, I just want to be entertained, and I'm not THAT hard to be entertained. I just GOT to be, and this attempt at it is trite and not worthy.
BONUS track "Sunny Side Of Love" actually is one of the most successful tracks on the effort, so I think it probably should have been included on the "standard" edition, because it is depressing to think that some fans will miss out on it - in the information age uh? - because frankly, there are way less successful songs on the standard edition.
The album is not bad by any stretch of the imagination, it rather is another ultra-thorough take - the deluxe edition weighs in with 80+ minutes - on the music of Aerosmith, regardless how the music of Aerosmith remained non-evolved in the past 222 years. You will get what you anticipate, nothing less, nothing more, nothing else. I will be the first to admit that the album starts out with bombastic fashion, as the sound is pretty magical by the time - but later on, the known-to-death-and-beyond glam/circus metal harmonic phrases, the popcorn metal ethos really is starting to carve holes into your excitement. Not a bad record. An Aerosmith record, and it could have been the Aerosmith record of 1992, it "just" so happened that it is 2012 you are getting the music of 1992 from. Thank you for reading the review, and, if you think I'm harsh with the rating, let me tell you that I'm pretty kind with the rating.
Rating : 6.9 / 10
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