|Aerosmith Honkin' On Bobo||Columbia Records|
On this, their new studio album, Aerosmith has well and truly captured the spirit of the music which inspired them to pick up their instruments in the first place. They have returned to where it all began, for them and for the very culture of rock n roll as a whole.|
Blues was where it started and Honkin' On Bobo is a collection of classic blues covers, interspersed with a couple of Aerosmith originals – also in that classic blues rock style.
This is the most laid back and relaxed Aerosmith I have heard for a long time - if not ever. The guys teamed up with producer Jack Douglas, who guided them through their most acclaimed period – the last 70's, which was also their most toxic.
This album sees the band having some fun and revisiting old influences, while also using this album as a career circuit breaker.
Their last couple of albums have seen them fail to break any new ground and have suffered from falling sales. Both have their merits, but have very varied fan responses – it seems the united acclaim from such classics as Permanent Vacation, Pump and Get A Grip are long gone.
Realistically Honkin' On Bobo is unlikely to chance either circumstance – for as good as it is – not everyone is going to want to hear such a pure blues rock album and reactions will be mixed depending on what each fan wants.
I really enjoyed this album – I've played it extensively and find it a lively collection of smokin' blues tunes that really suits the style and the attitude of the band.
I also enjoyed the vibe of the production and the band's performance – it's clear to anyone listening to this that the band are having a ball and feel right at home.
But once this review has been completed I can't see myself listening to this album again – a seemingly confusing statement given the quality of the album.
But no matter how good this album is, I prefer the Aerosmith I personally came to know and love since their resurgence in the mid-80s.
Those that have a far deeper appreciation for the band, or have followed them since their very origins in the 70's will have a greater love for this record and will embrace it's style with far more ease.
I believe the band have recorded this album for themselves first and foremost, and their oldest and dearest fans secondly.
The covers sound great. A particularly inspired Baby Please Don't Go is the highlight for me, as are the few originals, which slide in alongside the covers with natural ease.
But I don't see universal acceptance of this album and their choice of direction and more now than ever I wonder where the band will go with their next release.
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