Review Summary: It's another Aerosmith greatest hits collection... what do you expect from their ninth time running?
The year is 1986. You are driving along in your new convertible, long hair flying behind you, when a song you've never heard before comes on the radio. The song is pretty catchy... the saxophone is a particularly nice touch. The next day, you hear it on the radio again. Later that night, again. Before long, you know all the lyrics and are singing along to the anthematic chorus: "DUUUUDE LOOKS LIKE A LADYY!!!" You proudly go to Aerosmith
concerts and declare that Steven Tyler is the best frontman ever.
Now the year is 2009. Aerosmith has pretty much fallen out of popular culture, with the exception of the Rock N' Roller Coaster ride at Disney World and the mediocre Guitar Hero: Aerosmith game released in 2008. This band has quite possibly released more greatest hits compilations than any other act on the face of the planet: nine, not including live releases. The "greatest frontman ever" Steven Tyler, whose ego is almost as big as his lips, has recently left the band and now the future of Aerosmith is uncertain. The real question is: who cares?
Does any band have enough hits to make nine separate 'greatest' albums? With the exception of Merzbow
, probably not. Thus, all of these unnecessary hits collections by Aerosmith feel more like desperate attempts to stay relevant more than genuine compilations. One big factor in this observation are the amount of duplicate songs across these collections. For example, every song on this album, aside from the two exclusive tracks at the end of the record, appear on Aerosmith's 2002 effort O, Yeah! Ultimate Aerosmith Hits
. This renders Devils's Got A New Disguise
pretty much useless if you own the aforementioned album, unless you're a crazed Aerosmith who must own everything done by the band- a lot of people are, judging by the fact that this record was number 33 on the charts for a while.
I will give this to Aerosmith- they do know how to write catchy songs. I wouldn't blame you if I saw you singing along to the famous Dream On
, or air guitaring to Walk This Way
, which are, coincidentally, two of the best songs on the album. Unfortunately, not all of the so-called 'hits' on this album are that great. As the compilation reaches its end, you start to notice one of Aerosmith's weaknesses- repetition- particularly on slow songs. Three of the tracks on the album: What It Takes
, and I Don't Want to Miss A Thing
sound somewhat similar, which is irritating considering the fairly big back catalogue Aerosmith had to choose from here.
But what of the two new tracks on the disc? One, Sedona Sunrise
, has low recording quality compared to the rest of the album, as it is subtitled (Pump Demo). Still, it boasts a good bassline and a soothing sound. Devil's Got A New Disguise
is an aggressive rock song with a good guitar solo that makes for one of the heavier listens on the album. If Aerosmith could only focus their efforts and release a new album, it could be great, as these two tracks show their potential. I enjoy these songs more than most of their supposed 'hits'.
At least Aerosmith are trying, although somewhat in vein, to stay noticed. The fact of the matter is that releasing greatest hits collection after greatest hits collection may garner you some new fans at first, but eventually people will just get tired of it. The two new tracks featured on this release show that Aerosmith still has some serious potential- whether that potential will ever be realized now that Steven Tylor has deserted the band is the question. Even when he was in the band, they couldn't seem to get anything done... now that he's out, I can't see their situation getting any better. Just do yourself a favour and don't buy any more pointless greatest hits collections.
Highlights: Dream On, Last Child, Walk This Way, Dude (Looks Like A Lady), Devil's Got A New Disguise