Something Else! sneak peek: Aerosmith, “Legendary Child” (2012)

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We waited eight years for this? A retread of a throw-away track from the Get a Grip album, which for the most part should have been a throw-away itself?

A friend of mine, knowing my deep and abiding love for most things Aerosmith, forwarded me a clip of the band’s performance of the song from “American Idol” this week. It was pretty much a complete disaster. The band seemed bored, and as far as I can tell, the sound guys had no clue what they were doing. I hated it, but vowed not to judge from one live performance. So I went in search of the studio version.

Despite the drama in recent years, with Joe Perry at one point discussing touring with a replacement singer, despite Steven Tyler’s tenure on “American Idol” and his awful solo work, despite the fact that they’ve given me no real reason to, I’ve been eagerly anticipating the forthcoming record, Music from Another Dimension. Their last outing, Honkin’ on Bobo, though a collection of covers, had more of their 1970s sound about it — and Jack Douglas, responsible for some of their best work, was returning as producer. It took the band about four minutes to rob me of that anticipation.

The song starts off with a warbling, weak guitar lick from Perry. There’s a little attitude in the one that follows and underlies the verse, but Tyler’s vocals are rough and there’s just never any real energy in the song at all. Tyler tries in vain to connect “Legendary Child” with their classic material by recycling lyrics from much better songs, but all that really does is remind us how good those were and how big a mess this one is.

I’d like to think that this is just a throw-away that they trotted out for the soundtrack of the new “G.I. Joe” movie, but I can’t imagine with all the build-up around a new record that the first taste they’d give fans would be the weakest track. There is precedent this year, though. Our first listen to Van Halen’s A Different Kind of Truth was “Tattoo,” which in no way reflected the rest of the record. It gives me a little hope, but still, “Tattoo” was a far better song than this steaming pile. At least it was an earworm. After a dozen or so listens, the only thing I can remember about “Legendary Child” is the line copped from “Walk This Way.”

I understand that these guys aren’t spring chickens anymore, and maybe my hopes for a raw and rocking comeback record were a little out of line. But there’s also plenty of precedent for guys making solid albums into their 60s and beyond. Hopefully, the rest of what Aerosmith has to offer on Music from Another Dimension will be much better than this, but my first impression is definitely disappointment. Being the complete fanboy that I am, I’ll still own it the day it comes out, but I’m not looking forward to Aug. 28 quite as much as I was.

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Here’s a look back at our previous thoughts on Aerosmith. Click through the titles for complete reviews …

SOMETHING ELSE! FEATURED ARTIST: AEROSMITH: As Steven Tyler confirmed rumors that there will be a new Aerosmith album released this spring, we took a moment to reevaluate things. Here are a group of lesser-known deep cuts from this cool-rocking band, most (but not all!) of which come from their creative peak in the 1970s. Well, and one minor hit that still holds rather fond memories.

AEROSMITH – HONKIN’ ON BOBO (2004): Horribly titled, but quite good. Honkin’ on Bobo was largely made up of rock versions of blues tunes, it was recorded in live sessions with all five members in the room at once, and it saw the return of producer Jack Douglas. More than that, though, it saw the return of the classic Aerosmith sound. The arrangements, while still often over the top, were stripped down from the bombast of their last few records, and it really had the feel of old-school Aerosmith.

AEROSMITH – ROCKS (1976; 2011 reissue): To be sure, the songs do rock and creep deep inside the brain cells and refuse to leave moments after hearing them, but a sense of cryptic chaos administers the event. Lead singer Steven Tyler’s rubbery vocals mumble and rumble with mystery, and the band is hungry, so hungry, it appears as if they are singing for their supper. These guys are wired! Loud, sleazy and erupting with power and venom, you can almost taste whatever chemical substances the band was inhaling when they created the record. For good reason, some folks consider Rocks to be Aerosmith’s best album.

Aerosmith’s announced ‘Global Warming Tour’ dates are:
June 16 – Minneapolis, MN
June 19 – Cleveland, OH
June 22 – Chicago, IL
June 27 – Toronto, ON
July 1 – Uniondale, NY
July 3 – Bristow, VA
July 5 – Detroit, MI
July 7 – Milwaukee, WI
July 17 – Boston, MA
July 21 – Philadelphia, PA
July 24 – East Rutherford, NJ
July 26 – Atlanta, GA
July 28 – Dallas, TX
July 30 – Houston, TX
August 1 – Denver, CO
August 4 – Oakland, CA
August 6 – Los Angeles, CA
August 8 – Tacoma, WA

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