Album review: Aerosmith’s ‘Music From Another Dimension!’


Steven Tyler, left, and Joe Perry of Aerosmith perform on NBC's "Today" show on Friday, Nov. 2, 2012 in New York. (Charles Sykes/CHARLES SYKES/INVISION/AP)
November 5, 2012
Aerosmith
Music From Another Dimension!

Aerosmith hasn’t released an album of original material since 2001’s “Just Push Play,” its members having spent the intervening years feuding, falling off stages, going to rehab, feuding some more and judging “American Idol.”

Music From Another Dimension!” serves the same purpose as Van Halen’s “A Different Kind of Truth.” It gives Aerosmith something to tour behind, something to prove it’s a respectable contemporary band, not a nostalgia act milking the oldies circuit.

“Music” attempts to re-create Aerosmith’s twin eras of glory — the astonishing mid-’70s hard-rock run and latter Alicia Silverstone/Diane Warren years. Most of the songs on “Music” (produced by Jack Douglas, responsible for many of the band’s earliest hits) strenuously recall one or the other. The closer Aerosmith gets to replicating the kind of thing it used to be really good at (as on the boogie-woogie-ing “Out Go the Lights”), the more depressing the results.

It’s better on the fringes: A tamped-down Carrie Underwood plays Jennifer Nettles to Tyler’s Jon Bon Jovi on “Can’t Stop Loving You,” but anyone who doesn’t know how to properly use Underwood doesn’t deserve to have her.

When Aerosmith isn’t making plays for country-crossover stardom or making like the musical version of Civil War reenactors, the band recounts its own creation myth on the autobiographical “Legendary Child,” which is partly cobbled together from old song phrases (“I took a chance at the high school dance / Never knowing wrong from right,” etc.). As a musical Wikipedia entry, it’s impressive (who knew Aerosmith remembered that much of the ’70s?), designed make an argument for the band’s continuing relevance in ways “Music” frequently cannot.

— Allison Stewart

Recommended Tracks

“Out Go the Lights,” “Can’t Stop Loving You”

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