Bob Dylan gained exposure by appearing in a Victoria’s Secret commercial, U2 and Eminem publicized new albums via Apple commercials and now Aerosmith is promoting their latest release with a commercial for Target. Their most recent corporate-pushed release is a chronicle of a 2002 concert in Vegas, showcasing material only truly dedicated fans will want to hear, no doubt everyone else will find it fairly boring. While it’s nice to hear what they sound like live, it’s nothing new – they’ve released other live albums before. Some hits featured propel the listener back to the ’70s. “Same Old Song and Dance” is drawn out a couple minutes extra to accommodate a rousing voice/guitar call and answer between the inseparable singer Steven Tyler and Joe Perry. “Train Kept a Rollin’,” another popular oldie, includes enthusiastic audience participation. But near the end of the song, the instruments launch into “The Star Spangled Banner.” An odd segue awkward and out of place, as a corporate tie-in.
While Tyler’s voice is just as strong live as recorded, there simply isn’t anything stellar about his album; The material is solid, but lacks variety. “Walk This Way” continues to be one of the most widely recognized Aerosmith songs, but its novelty has worn off with its appearance on other live albums as well as numerous “Greatest Hits” CDs.
At this point, Aerosmith should only release live albums if their concerts specially warrant recording. Even the best moments of Joint seemed designed as a cash in.
It might not be time for Tyler and his gang to call it quits yet, but it’s certainly time they start thinking about releasing something other than an unoriginal compilation of past albums.
Rating: 2 out of 5 stars