Let me start by saying that I’m a huge Aerosmith fan. In my mind, there is no better singer/front man than Steven Tyler. But, when the singer of one of the best hard rock bands of all time announces that he’s putting out a solo country CD, that vein in my forehead starts vibrating like you wouldn’t believe.
Now, to be fair, I had the same reaction when Bon Jovi (another one of my favorites) released their country CD, Lost Highway. But, they were able to maintain their signature sound despite the country influence. The end result was one of their more solid releases in the 2000’s.
I was hoping for a similar surprise with We’re All Somebody from Somewhere. But, no such luck. This CD is American Idol Steven Tyler…not Aerosmith Steven Tyler.
The biggest disappointment is that none of these 15 songs stand out as signature Steven Tyler. It’s not like these were songs he was saving that just didn’t fit with Aerosmith. Any artist could have sung these songs. As a result, they all sound like manufactured songs to which Tyler added lyrics.
He gives us crappy, country-pop singles in “Love Is Your Name” and “Red, White and You” (even that title is nauseating). The lyrics to the title track sound like they came straight from Sesame Street (a follow-up to “I Love Trash?”). Take your pick of long drawn out ballads that don’t go anywhere. And I have to mention “I Make My Own Sunshine” which may be the worst of the bunch here. Think Taylor Swift meets Train‘s “Hey, Soul Sister,” but worse…much, much worse.
As far as the production on the CD, it’s pretty good. As you’d expect, the mix on the songs clearly focuses on Steven Tyler‘s voice. His vocals are front and center at all times over a bed of understated music. His voice sounds good, but these just aren’t the songs you want to hear from him.
Over the years, Tyler has credited himself for Aerosmith‘s success. Well, my biggest takeaway from this solo CD is that he needs Joe Perry more than he is willing to admit. My hope is that these 15 songs get the country and solo bugs out of his system and he’s back rocking in Aerosmith before we know it.