Just Push Play (2001)

1.Beyond Beautiful
2.Just Push Play
4.Fly Away From Here
5.Trip Hoppin'
7.Under My Skin
8.Luv Lies
9.Outta Your Head
10.Drop Dead Gorgeous
11.Light Inside
12.Avant Garden


From a strictly commercial perspective, Aerosmith was in a bit of a slump during the latter half of the 1990's. Part of the problem wasn't necessarily lack of quality material, but the fact that they hadn't really sounded fresh in over a decade. They seemed to have spent the enitre decade of the 1990s trying to replicate their Permanent Vacation comeback album. By the time Nine Lives came out ten years after, it just sounded...well...stale.

Outside writers and producers Mark Hudson and Marti Fredereksen are brought in to help redefine the band, and they do quite a good job. For once, Aerosmith sounds their own age, and not like a bunch of adolescent teenagers going through puberty. That's not to say the album doesn't rock, it cleary does - and it rocks hard and it rocks well, it's just that it sounds a bit more refined and welcome after the monotony of their past several releases. This is definitely a genuine Aerosmith record,and you have to give Steven Tyler credit for his attempt at rap on Outta Your Head. Ever since their duet with Run DMC on Walk This Way, Tyler has sort of made this a bit of a staple in the band's music. The song comes across well without sounding kitchy. They also do a good job on the title cut, that incorporates many influences as well without losing the band's trademark feel.

As with most Aerosmith releases lately, the album seems a bit too tuned for radio play, but again - it sounds so refreshingly different than what we're used to, it's actually welcome. They do a great job on the ballads Fly Away From Here and Luv Lies that are easily distinguishable from all of the other slow songs in the catalog. They incorporate some high-tech effects in Beyond Beautiful and Drop Dead Gorgeous, yet never once do we forget that we're listening to Aerosmith. They even do a good job of diving into songs that sound slightly psychadelic such as Trip Hoppin', Avant Garden, and to some extent, Sunshine.

The album isn't flawless, it does sound a bit too calculated to be considered a classic, but there really isn't anything weak or forgettable on the whole recordm. It may not have been as commercially successful as the band's last few releases, but that's not a bad thing. They haven't sounded this fresh in years.

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