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Nine Lives

Review by Gary Hill

Aerosmith seem to have gone through several phases, musically, during their career. The early years marked a creative and charged vision. As time wore on, the band seemed to lose direction, both personally and musically. Once the original lineup reformed, there was a renewed energy in the band, but much of the work seemed rather formula. This album seems to be a return to the inspired Aerosmith of old. No less than four of the tracks on this album have received airplay here.

The lineup for this album is the classic Aerosmith lineup of Steven Tyler, Joe Perry, Brad Whitfield, Joey Kramer and Tom Hamilton. Be sure to check out the Aerosmith homepage at

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2001 Year Book Volume 3 at



Track by Track Review
Nine Lives
Feedback and cat screeching begin this number, which has the feel of a Joe Perry Project tune. This is a straight-ahead, no-frills rocker.
Falling In Love Is Hard on the Knees
No big surprises here, just a very competent rock song in the style that Aerosmith has perfected over the years. The cut features a horn section accompaniment that adds a nice groove to the piece.
Taste of India
East Indian strains dominate this piece. The effect is somewhat cliched, but effective. A stong and contagious number, this one has an almost galloping beat, and is my favorite song on the CD. Much of the arrangement to the instrumental break has strong prog leanings.
Full Circle
Containing blues textures, Full Circle is a well-rounded Aerosmith ballad. The cut showcases many of the band`s trademarks. The guitar solo is definitely an attention getter, while still remaining quite tasteful. The ending segments of the piece have an old blues sort of feel to them.
Something's Gotta Give
The opening textures to this piece call to mind late Roth era Van Halen, with later portions seem to combine Aerosmith`s sound with those of Led Zeppelin and Guns and Roses. This is a gritty and quite bluesy rock and roller.
Ain't That A Bitch
A pretty ballad setting with laid back jazz overtones makes up the beginning of this composition. Eventually, the tone shifts and the track becomes more of a slow rocker, somewhat reminiscent of the Get Your Wings era.
The Farm
A sound effects intro followed by Tyler`s patented scream gives way to another slow and gritty rock number. A unique arrangement and interesting strings lend a proggish feel to the later segments of the piece.
This is a frantic, no-frills rocker at a high energy level.
Kiss Your Past Goodbye
A bluesy, antiquidated style intro leads into a strong rock and roll number. This is the Aerosmith of old. Although essentially another bare-bones cut, this one contains some abrupt changes in a quirky arrangement. The ending segment is particularly interesting.
A pop oriented rock tune, this is not overly special, but catchy.
Fallen Angel
Psychedelia, folk influences, prog elements and Native American stylings form the non-lyrical intro to this piece. As the first verse kicks in, the mode shifts to a fairly conventional rock ballad format. This is a very strong track with lots of emotion and intriguing arrangements. The ending segments of the track have strong prog leanings.
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