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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Aerosmith

Draw the Line

Review by Gary Hill

This is considered to be one of the weaker albums from Aerosmith. For my money, if this is weak, I don’t know what strong is. Sure, there are a couple songs that seem like the band is just going through the motions, but there are some real winners here, too. I’d have to say that I rank “Kings and Queens” as one of Aerosmith’s best songs, and might even consider the best bar none. That tune alone is worth the price of admission here.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2011  Volume 1 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Draw The Line

They rock out with this killer blues-based jam. It’s literally a real screamer. It’s got a great heavy texture to it and tons of energy. It’s a great way to start the set in style.

I Wanna Know Why
A bit more of a groove oriented number, the chorus to this is catchy, but the song pales in comparison to the scorcher that preceded it. In a lot of ways this feels like it could have been left over from the Toys in the Attic sessions.
Critical Mass
There’s a short backwards tracked bit leading this piece out of the gate. From there they turn it into a tasty sort of jam that’s not really heavy, but has a great texture. I like Tyler’s vocal delivery on the piece a lot and some of the changes are really cool. The noisy section that serves as the outro is also quite intriguing and satisfying. There is actually a little backwards tracked jam that rises up as sort of a reprise after that outro.
Get It Up
This is not a bad track, but not really noteworthy, either. It’s Aerosmith playing by the numbers, or at least it seems that way.
Bright Light Fright
“Bright Light Fright” is really very much like a Joe Perry solo song. It’s raw and fun and there’s some screaming saxophone on it.
Kings And Queens
This tune by itself is worth the price of admission and it’s one of the all-time best from Aerosmith. It’s a real screamer with a gothic sort of musical overlay and medieval lyrics. You just can’t do much better than this one. It’s so powerful and dramatic.
The Hand That Feeds
I’d consider this track to be the less classy step brother of the title track. It’s got a lot of the screaming Tyler vocals and is pretty heavy. It’s just not all that special. There is a section later in the piece, though, that has a cool Cheap Trick-like vibe.
Sight For Sore Eyes
With a catchy, but hard rocking hook, this is another of the more effective pieces on show. I’d consider it one of the highlights of the set.
Milk Cow Blues
Another hard rocker, this is tasty, but not really exceptional.
 
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