Monday, 12 April 2010

CD Review: Get A Grip, by Aerosmith (1993)


Any band still producing good and relevant music 20 years into their career deserves high praise. Get A Grip is Aerosmith's eleventh studio album, and has enough fresh material on it to put to shame most bands half their age. The album is also wonderfully produced, with a wide-open crystal clear sound that allows each of Aerosmith's members to shine with an orchestral sweep.

Get A Grip crams lot of goodness in the early going. Eat The Rich, Get A Grip, Fever and Flesh are all good up-tempo examples of the wide-audience-friendly hard-rock genre that Aerosmith made their own. The four songs straddle the always interesting intersection where high-energy dance meets edgy rock. It's difficult not to groove to the strong beats of Joey Kramer's drums, supporting Joe Perry's crunchy guitar riffs with Steve Tyler wailing away on vocals.

There are two other great tracks that make an appearance later in the album, following the same formula: the hypnotic Shut Up And Dance, and the irresistibly fun Line Up, co-written with Lenny Kravitz.

Not unexpectedly but unfortunately all the same, Aerosmith insist on providing a total of 14 tracks on Get A Grip, and the remaining tracks are patchy at best. Three radio-friendly ballads, Cryin', Crazy, and Amazing, are at least two too many. Walk On Down is pure filler and Gotta Love It isn't much better, just much longer.

An album length limited to the best eight tracks could have been a hard rock classic; as it is Get A Grip throws everything at the wall, and some of it leaves a slimy trail behind.

Band:

Steven Tyler: Vocals
Joe Perry: Guitar
Brad Whitford: Guitar
Tom Hamilton: Bass
Joey Kramer: Drums

Songlist (ratings out of 10):

1. Intro - n/a (short)
2. Eat The Rich - 9
3. Get A Grip - 8
4. Fever - 8
5. Livin' On The Edge - 7
6. Flesh - 8
7. Walk On Down - 6
8. Shut Up And Dance - 9
9. Cryin' - 7
10. Gotta Love It - 6
11. Crazy - 6
12. Line Up - 9
13. Amazing - 7
14. Boogie Man - 7

Average: 7.46

Produced by Bruce Fairbairn. Mixed by Brendan O'Brien.
Engineered by David Thoener and Ken Lomas. Mastered by Greg Fulginiti.

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