Aerosmith is back

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“Music from Another Dimension,” reminds me why Aerosmith is one of my favorite bands. Released Nov. 6, the band’s first album in 11 years shows Aerosmith has returned to its ‘90s excellence and ‘70s flair.

Over the course of 18 original tracks, Aerosmith shows exactly why the band has managed to stay relevant for nearly 40 years. There is a ton of musical excellence jammed into, “Music From Another Dimension.” It’s a great album title because I have no idea where the band members found the inspiration to create this great representation of the band’s historic career.

I have been an Aerosmith fan for as long as I can remember. When Santa delivered my first CD player for Christmas, “Get a Grip,” was in my stocking. I saw the band perform in Philadelphia on two separate occasions before my 14th birthday. The first time I saw “Wayne’s World 2,” I lost my mind at how prominently the band was featured in the film.

However, when Aerosmith released “Just Push Play,” in 2001, I began to lose interest. The album didn’t connect with me, nor did I feel it displayed the band’s true talent. In 2004, I purchased the blues romp “Honkin’ on Bobo,” merely out of habit and never really gave it much of a chance. When Steven Tyler joined the cast of “American Idol,” I thought I knew Aerosmith’s best years were far behind them.

But, this band seems to produce its best work when faced with adversity. The first time Steven Tyler completed rehab in the 1980s, the band came back stronger than ever with Run-D.M.C. remixing “Walk This Way,” and featuring the rock band in the music video for the song.

I saw Aerosmith perform in 2010 at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City and the band was in top form despite Tyler openly fighting with his band mates in the press. After falling off a stage in 2009, he had just wrapped up another round of rehab. I thought it would be my last opportunity to see Aerosmith before they split up for good.

Not long into the show, the band proved me wrong. It was their energy and enthusiasm that proved to me that they were back. The scene in “Wayne’s World 2” where Wayne and Garth, bow down at the feet of the band members, proclaiming, “We’re not worthy,” replayed in my head.  

Aerosmith bleeds rock ‘n’ roll. The combination of Steven Tyler's passionate vocals and guitarist Joe Perry is one of the best duos in the history of music. Perry is an incredible guitarist saturating his licks in blues influences. Nearly every song includes some of Perry pouring his emotions into the neck of a Gibson Les Paul.

There are many times while listening to the album that I thought I was listening to an old Aerosmith record. That is not to say the band is sounding tired or that all their songs sound alike. There is simply a lot of old school Aerosmith style that makes this album amazing.

“Legendary Child,” the first single of the record, has gotten a lot of airplay lately. First, the song starts off with the melody of the previous track, “Out Go the Lights,” then kicks into a warped combination of “Sweet Emotion,” and “Love in an Elevator,” and includes an intentional reference to “Walk This Way.”

Although a lot of songs remind me of old songs that made the band famous; that is because this sounds like the band that made itself famous. This album is a wonderful treat for Aerosmith fans and fans of the rock ‘n’ roll sound that seems to have been in hiding for the past decade.

What Aerosmith album would be complete without a good ballad? This album has more than one including “Another Last Goodbye,” featuring a piano-playing Tyler singing and also providing the backup vocals on the track. “What Could Have Been Love,” is another classic Aerosmith ballad hitting all the right chords in the hearts of lovesick fans.

Joe Perry picks up the lead vocals on “Oasis in the Night,” “Something,” and “Freedom Fighter,” making the album sound like a collaborative effort. Even bassist Tom Hamilton steps into the spotlight and sings, “Up on a Mountain,” which is a rarity in the Aerosmith universe.  

A couple of other interesting singers on the album are, Julian Lennon,” who sings background vocals on the opening track, “LUV XXX,” and Johnny Depp who joins in on “Freedom Fighter” and the iTunes exclusive live version of “Train Kept A-Rollin’.”

On “Can’t Stop Lovin’ You,” listeners will recognize the familiar voice of county singer and former “American Idol” winner Carrie Underwood who joins Tyler on the track.  

Joey Kramer hasn’t lost a step behind the drum kit, his bass drum kicks and punches wildly on this album. Not since ‘90s tracks like “Livin’ on the Edge,” has the drummer’s presence been felt so strongly.

On “Beautiful,” Steven Tyler spits lyrics quickly to build up to the arms-in-the-air chorus, “We’re free again, we’re out of here.”

Rhythm guitarist Brad Whitford is also in top form across the album; songs like “Street Jesus,” displays his talent in a prominent way. All of the band members wrote songs on this album.

“Tell Me,” reminds me of “Cryin’,” which seemed to be on the playlist of all of my middle school dances.

“Out Go The Lights,” is full of that ‘70s swagger and has a riff that reminds me of “Mama Kin,” with Tyler singing lyrics with his tongue planted firmly in his cheek.

If this is the last album released by Aerosmith, the band has absolutely gone out on a high note. I hope it isn’t because if there is anything left in the tank, Aerosmith has quite a journey ahead.

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