Music From Another Dimension!

Label: Sony Music
Three similar bands: The Rolling Stones/Lynyrd Skynyrd/Twisted Sister
Rating: HHHHHHH (5/7)
Reviewer: Caj Källmalm
2. Oh Yeah
3. Beautiful
4. Tell Me
5. Out Go the Lights
6. Legendary Child
7. What Could Have Been Love
8. Street Jesus
9. Can't Stop Loving You
10. Lover Alot
11. We All Fall Down
12. Freedom Fighter
13. Closer
14. Something
15. Another Last Goodbye
Bonus tracks:
1. Up On The Mountain
2. Oasis In The Night
3. Sunny Side Of Love
4. Shakey Ground
5. I'm Not Talking

Steven Tyler (Lead vocals, organ and harmonica on 5, organ and electric guitar on 11, piano and guitar on 15, drums on 14, guitar on 3, mandolin on 4, cigar box guitar on 7, arrangement & production)
Tom Hamilton (Bass guitar, backing vocals on 2 and 6, lead vocals on bonus track 1, guitar & synthesizer
Joey Kramer (Drums, percussion & backing vocals)
Joe Perry (Lead guitar, backing vocals, lead vocals on 12, 14 and bonus track 2, co-lead vocals on 2, baritone guitar on 10, lap steel guitar, bass, synthesizer, dulcimer & production)
Brad Whitford (Rhythm guitar, acoustic guitar on 4 & backing vocals)

Aerosmith (1973)
Get Your Wings (1974)
Toys in the Attic (1975)
Rocks (1976)
Draw the Line (1977)
Night in the Ruts (1978)
Rock in a Hard Place (1982)
Done with Mirrors (1985)
Permanent Vacation (1987)
Pump (1989)
Get a Grip (1993)
Nine Lives (1997)
Just Push Play Columbia (2001)
Honkin' on Bobo (2004)

Julian Lennon (back vocals on 1)
Melanie Taylor (back vocals on 2 & 5)
Sharlotte Gibson (back vocals on 2)
Laura Jones (back vocals on 2)
Tom Scott (saxophone tenor on 2 & 5)
Jessy J (saxophone tenor on 2)
John Mitchell (saxophone baritone on 2 & 5)
Bill Reichenbach, Jr. (trombone on 2 & 5
Gary Grant (trumpet on 2 & 5)
Larry Hall (trumpet on 2 & 5)
Mia Tyler (back vocals on 3)
Russ Irwin (piano and back vocals on 7)
Carrie Underwood (feat vocals on 9)
Johnny Depp (back vocals on 12)
Bruce Witkin (back vocals on 12)
Paul Santo (hammond organ on 14 & 4, keyboards on 13 & 12, mellotron on 13)
Dr. Rudy Tanzi (hammond organ on 14 and 12)
Jesse Sky Kramer (add drums on 11)
Zac Rae (piano and synthesizer on 11, electric piano on 12)
Desmond Child (piano on 15)
Jesse Kotansky (violin solo on 15)
Daniel J. Coe (synthesizer on 13 & bonus track 2, synthesizer and programming on 15, arrangement)
Rick Dufay (rhythm guitar on bonus track 4)
The Section Quartet (on 11 & 15):
Daphne Chen (violin)
Eric Gorfain (violin)
Lauren Chipman (viola)
Richard Dodd (cello)

Jack Douglas (production, mixing, arrangement, percussion on 1, 2, 4, 10, 13, 12 and bonus track 1, keyboards and backing vocals on 12, organ on 9, synthesizer and backing vocals on 6 & piano on 8)
Marti Frederiksen (production on 3, 7 and 9, pro tools, backing vocals on 7 & keyboards and guitar Roland synthesizer on 13 introduction)
Warren Huart (engineering, mixing, backing vocals on 6)
Al Schmidt (mixing)
Anthony Focx (mixing)
Chris Lord-Alge (mixing)
Neal Avron (mixing)
Daphne Chen (arrangement)
Tom Scott (arrangement)
Casey Patrick Tebo (artwork)
Slash (inside artwork)
Recorded July 5, 2011 – March/April 2012 at Pandora's Box, The Boneyard, Poppy Studios, Swing House Studios, Mad Dog Studios, Retro Activ Studios, Briar Patch Studios and Hensen Studios

Released 7/11-2012
Reviewed 16/11-2012

sony music

Bare with me as I spend this first paragraph bashing about on Sony Music and the Play Mpe service, if you aren't a representative of any of these you can just skip ahead to the second paragraph as there isn't anything here you'll find useful anyway. What I want to say to Sony and Play Mpe is this: who was the fucking genius that came up with the brilliant idea to only service this album through streaming? And then only make it available in one bitrate, which was of such a nature that one couldn't even play the album without getting freaking pauses all the time for buffering. I seriously thought I was on the border of getting a psychotic break every time I tried to play the album as I could hear two seconds, then get a paus on at least one second before it continued over and over. Finally I acquired the album in another way - which I will not mention how here since it has nothing to do with the review - and finally I could play the album properly! Had I had the possibilty I'd set a big fucking fire to all of Sony and Play Mpe for putting me through that fucking torture with the streaming, though I swear on the holy scripture that I will spend the entire review on writing obscenities direct toward you if you ever put me through something like this again! Because this, seriously, sucked big time!!

Now, let's turn our direction towards the review. We have Aerosmith, a band that hardly needs further introduction than their name since they're the unquestioned biggest ever rock band from America with more than 150 million albums sold world wide in 14 previous studio albums. They've had 21 top 40 singles in the US charts and at least a gold certification on each studio album prior to this as well as a handful of their live and compilation albums. They are giants within rock music and why they chose to put time and effort in to making a new album is something I can't get my head around. They've been around for almost 40 years and has released 14 studio albums already and never really changed their style so how much more is there to put out with their sound, really? And as with all these gigantic bands people will never appreciate their new releases the way they did with their old ones, regardless if they're better or worse since people prefer the classics… and in our digital era they won't have a chance to sell even close to their old hits either. 'Music From Another Dimension!' isn't drastic different in any way from any earlier album from Aerosmith, the only thing that is somewhat different is the cleaner and more powerful production as well as the fact that some of their songs have plenty of guests that plays "different" instruments, which is something none of their earlier albums had. I'm feeling kind of sceptic to the album, you may hint between the lines here and in a way I wonder what people will think about this album after waiting eight years since 'Honkin' On Bobo', which was their last studio release, and eleven years since their latest studio album with own material - the mediocre 'Just Push Play'. Next year will mark 40 years since their debut album and therefore my main question as I've played through this album is wether any of these songs will make it to a 40-year anniversary best-of album, which - undoubtedly - will be released next year?

Well, with 15 tracks on 'Music From Another Dimension!' (not including bonus tracks) it's the Aerosmith album with most tracks ever and if we count the songs on all of their previously released albums (once again not counting bonus tracks - but covers) these 15 songs stand for about a tenth of the total number of Aerosmith songs released on their studio albums. Considering only this then there's a good chance for at least one of these songs to make it to that 40th anniversary album if they have at least ten songs on that album. But this is hardly the only thing considered and I guess it all comes down to how many songs they'll have on that supposed 40th anniversary album because there are 14 albums, 21 top 40 hits on the Bilboard chart and ten number one charted singles on the Billboard rock charts to beat. Classics like the world wide top ten hit I Don't Want To Miss A Thing and albums like 'Permanent Vacation', 'Toys In The Attic' and 'Pump' should all be devalued in comparison to these (or a few of these) new songs, so is that possible? Well, at least it has taken on somewhat of a fight with two top 40 singles (out of four so far released singles) on the Billboard rock charts so far and top ten charts in the US (official), Canada and Germany in its first week, but is that enough?

When all comes around, cult will always beat quality, regardless of how significant that quality is, which once again makes it a matter of how many songs they'll have if they even release such an album. When it comes to the quality of 'Music From Another Dimension!' I think it's a pretty good album but it has one great problem. It's very long… loooooooooong… loooooooooooooooooooooooooong!!!! The total playing time is well over the hour with one hour and eight minutes, before even counting possible bonus tracks and this is very looooooooooooooooooooooong! In 99 cases of 100 TOO long. "But Caj, this is their first album with unique material in eleven years - doesn't that justify a long album?" you might think, and sure - I think it's a legitimate thing to say, only that it doesn't matter. It doesn't matter because when I'm playing this album on the ride to work/when I'm working out/when I'm reading/working/eating or whaterver I do - when I do that it makes absolutely no difference at all whether it was eleven years, or one week ago that they released something new before this album because the album still feels (and is) long at the time and place when I'm playing it. And regardless of how I try and where I try it, 'Music from Another Dimension!' do feel long every time I play it.You can play it during three different hours of the day if you start it let's say 5.55 PM because then it's not over until a few minutes passed seven!

But let's try to foresee the length for just a while, how does the album actually sound? To make it short - it sound like Aerosmith. This is the fifteenth album they release and nowhere on the way has they made any drastic changes to their sound, so how different could it be? Who doesn't know about them? Who hasn't heard them? Who hasn't heard a single song from the best selling American rock band ever? Exactly, only musically uninterested idiots so how much of a description do we really need? But there are a few things to mention as we're talking about how Aerosmith sounds and if you've read the whole review so far you'll know a few of these things. For example we have the guest list that includes people playing instruments like saxo(mo)phone, trumpets, trombone, hammond organ, piano, keyboards and even a fully equipped string Quartet making songs like Oh Yeah, Out Go The Lights, We All Fall Down, Freedom Fighter and Another Last Goodbye a bit more grand and "epic" than the normal Aerosmith (pretty simple bluesy rock 'n' roll) sound. They also do a song featuring country music singer Carrie Underwood, which gives this album some country music elements as well. And with four grand ballads they also show that tender side they bring forth some time on each album, which has given them a reputation as one of the rock worlds best ballad bands, but if you prefer the hard rocking Aerosmith you don't need to fear because there's about six or seven real rockers as well. You might think… epic, country, ballads and rockers - starts to sound a bit fragmented and disjointed and all though I can totally see why people could think so I still think they've carried it through well. But if something is a bit fragmented and disjointed it's the personal and recording sessions: six years of recordings (all though most of it has been done since March 2011), eight different studios, two different producers except for them selves and six different people doing the mixing. I'm not sure you'll really hear it unless you try to hear it but there are quite a big difference between some tracks so I think you'll hear it even if you just play it softly.

Overall I think this is a good album, among the best albums Aerosmith has released in their 40 years and the only really negative I find is the playing time. The sound is good, the songs are good and the overall product feels good. Also, I think every individual musician is doing a good job as well. But I think those real top songs are missing, even if I like songs such as Beautiful and Oh Yeah which are good but nog great. And there are no bad songs at all, in my opinion, so I can't really put my finger on what they should cut to make it shorter… So I guess what we have to do is endure those 68 minutes of 'Music From Another Dimension!', but I also think there are plenty of worse things to do for 68 minutes. And the cover is really nice!



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