Wednesday, October 31, 2012
You Win Some & You Lose Some
Once I found myself on the other side of "Driftin' Back," the painfully excessive and extremely unpleasant opening salvo from "Psychedelic Pill," my initial thoughts were to retreat, right then and there. I'm glad I didn't. There is some very fine music on the new Neil Young & Crazy Horse release, and actually, the nearly 30 minute "Driftin' Back" wouldn't be so horrible at say...8 minutes. It's what Crazy Horse does, though by pushing the envelope on an already weak song, it feels like an in-joke and I am not amused.
That said, so much of the rest of the album works, especially "Ramada Inn," "Twisted Road," and "She's Always Dancing," three songs I've gone back to a few times so far. This is The Horse, take them or leave them. I've always chosen the latter, and again, I am satisfied.
Say what you want about Steven Tyler. I'll probably agree with most of it, as long as you mention Aerosmith's first five albums with respect along with everything else. It's on the strength of this band's early output that I continue to give them a chance. That's not to say it ended there. The comeback in 1987 and a lot of what was released between then and 1997 was also worthy, if a bit too polished.
Since 1997's "Nine Lives," which is half good, it's been a bit of a joke. Still, I went into "Music From Another Dimension," the first record of new material since 2001's "Just Push Play" hoping for a spark from the bad boys.
Sorry to say, this is just awful. I wonder if it's Aerosmith at all, or just Tyler and Joe Perry with some highly paid hired hands. This record is dense and noisy (in all the bad ways) and features some truly horrible songs and ideas. It's a record of a band wanting so badly to revisit their heyday but wanting just as much to stay current, a terrible combination, or perfect for a disaster.
A duet with Carrie Underwood, autotune, sound effects, lame rapping, and not one but TWO songs sung by Joe Perry in a voice slighty reminiscent of Morey Amsterdam, "MFAD" is by far, worse than what we already thought was Aerosmith's nadir, the two Joe Perry-less records from the drug-addled 80s.