Album: Toys In The Attic
Why Rolling Stone gets it right: Aerosmith's style was pretty much cemented on "Toys In The Attic." The blues-rock template was set and the band unleashed Steven Tyler's ridiculously hyperbolic sexuality on the world on "Dream On" and "Walk This Way."
Why Rolling Stone gets it wrong: Where do I begin? Tyler sounds like a moron with his "kakakakakaaaa" nonsense. The song "Big Ten Inch Record" is dirtbag filthy. The guitar work is lazy and uninspired.
Best song: The title track is good by other bands.
Worst song: Ick. Aerosmith stinks.
Is it awesome?: Nope.
Man, Aerosmith, Springsteen and U2 all in one week. Oh, happy day.
Anyway, you know my feelings on this particular band. The problem with my reviewing them is twofold:
- Every album has one decent, not-super-well-known song that would be passable by another band.
- Their hits (on this album especially) are so ingrained in our consciousness, it's hard to say they totally suck.
The first point shows up in the song's two monster hits, "Walk This Way" and "Sweet Emotion." I can't say I hate them, because I don't. I'm certainly sick of them, but neither is a total insult to the ears like, say, "Janie's Got A Gun" or "Amazing" are. Rather, they're just a mild annoyance. If I hear it at a bar, I complain mildly, I don't go on an anti-Aerosmith rant.
Anyway, I've heard these songs so many times, I know all the lyrics and the melodies. I'll even find myself singing along, despite the fact that I don't even like the songs. Damn you, commercial classic rock radio!
The first problem is less so. The song's title track -- like "Back In The Saddle" from "Rocks" -- isn't a bad song and the cover R.E.M. recorded as a b-side to "Fall On Me" is brilliant. However, having Steven Tyler scream the lyrics makes me want to bang my head with a dictionary.
Let's also talk about how dirtbag filthy Aerosmith is on "Big Ten Inch Record." The lyrics are straight out of an AC/DC song:
Got me the strangest woman
Believe me this trick's no cinch
But I really get her going
When I whip out my big 10 inch
I understand it's an old blues tune, but it takes a special band to look at those lyrics and think "wow, yeah, that's perfect."
So, yes, Aerosmith. This album stinks and the band stinks. Sadly, we all know the songs because classic rock radio/VH1 loves them.