Music From Another Dimension
Columbia Records

Aerosmith walks the line between pleasing those who long for the band’s ’70s sound and fans who first heard them blasting ‘90s pop ballads on a soundtrack. On Music From Another Dimension, they seem to have given guitar heads something to chew on.

The guitars are up front and in your face, essentially cementing Joe Perry as the “rock star” guitarist. On “Out Go the Lights,” Perry plays an incredibly visceral and powerful solo, while the bluesy swing of Brad Whitford proves he belongs in the category with Richards when it comes to giants of rock rhythm guitar. To help get that old-school swagger back, the band brought in über-producer Jack Douglas, who might be the only one to have successfully captured Perry’s and Whitford’s tones over the years.

On the other hand, “What Could Have Been Love” and “Can’t Stop Loving You” are typical Tyler ballads: wordy lyrics, sappy choruses, and a country star (Carrie Underwood) cameo. Even with all the firepower that Whitford and Perry contribute, some of the tunes fall flat. At their core, Aerosmith is a rock band that, at times, has been seduced by pop music. Now is the time for them to do the seducing. —Jason Shadrick

Must-hear track: “Out Go the Lights”