Review Summary: F.I.N.E
Aerosmith have quite a fan base, ever since the ‘bad boys from Boston’ hit the rock music circuit and released their first album in 1973, they quickly became known as one of the best rock n’ roll acts in the business. They specialized in writing catchy, fun and on the rare occasion powerful numbers. ‘Dream On’, ‘Seasons of Wither’ and ‘Toys in the Attic’ are just a very small sample of the brilliant songs they wrote in the 70s. The band’s third release, Toys in the Attic remains their highest selling album to date.
The 80s was a mixed period for the band. Early albums like Rock in a Hard Place and Done with Mirrors proved a bit of a disappointment. The band was not always on the same page, and after a couple of near break ups, Aerosmith regained steam in 1987 with the entertaining Permanent Vacation. This proved the band’s comeback, and also showed the first ever use of professional songwriters for Aerosmith. ‘Rag Doll’ and ‘Angel’ proved that the old gang still had a couple of good tunes in them. They followed it up with Pump, their 10th album and one of their better post-reunion albums.
Pump is a perfectly balanced album. We’ve got fun straightforward rockers, a couple of readymade singles and a few more serious numbers. ‘Love in an Elevator’ was a hit in the late 80s, a cheeky rock number that makes good use of a keyboard. The song is classic Aerosmith, a fun catchy chorus and lyrics that simply are there to poke fun. ‘The Other Side’ was another single from the album, and it starts off with an interesting intro before reaching into ordinary rock territory.
‘Young Lust’ and ‘F.I.N.E’ begin the album with a high, two fun rock songs that have no other purpose but to give Tyler a chance to spew out some funny, and often smart, lyrics and also give Joe Perry a chance to unleash a solo or two. ‘Monkey on My Back’ is a song about drug addiction; it’s straight forward and doesn’t try to glamorize the effects of drugs. The band makes use of a bit more spacey guitar work here to give the song a unique feel.
‘Janie’s got a Gun’ is a powerful song about incest and murder. Tyler plays the main riff with his keyboard, and then an addictive bass line and some guitar work is added. Perry gives an emotional solo; the song starts fairly slowly but builds pace towards a strong climax. The lyrics are dark and they are juxtaposed well with the fairly lighthearted musical composition.
‘My Girl’ and ‘Don’t Get Mad, Get Even’ are nothing to write how about, but the album picks up the pace for the final two songs. ‘Medicine Man’ seems to be an attack on the civilized world and our distraction of mother earth. The 9thtrack has a brilliant chorus and a bluesy and unique instrumental. This is probably the song were Perry really shines. ‘What It Takes’ is a fairly popular ballad in the vein of ‘Amazing’ and ‘Angel’, although it’s a bit more upbeat. It’s a good closer, with a good long solo and a decent melodic chorus.
Pump is a damn entertaining Aerosmith album, which often gets looked over among their classics. It’s better than its more popular, but much more inconsistent, follow up Get a Grip