Aerosmith - Get A Grip review


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Band: Aerosmith
Album: Get A Grip
Release date: April 1993

01. Intro
02. Eat The Rich
03. Get A Grip
04. Fever
05. Livin' On The Edge
06. Flesh
07. Walk On Down
08. Shut Up And Dance
09. Cryin'
10. Gotta Love It
11. Crazy
12. Line Up
13. Can't Stop Messin' [International Version bonus]
14. Amazing
15. Boogie Man

The aptly named Get A Grip saw Aerosmith go for broke and fully grasp the brass ring that they had been circling closely since their reformation in the mid 80s. An album that is radio-ready but still with a foot in a steel toe-capped boot ready to kick your ass when you least expect it, Get A Grip saw Aerosmith at a moment in time as they were transitioning away from being a rock band with pop tendencies to a pop rock group.

Best remembered for the plethora of singles the album spawned, Get A Grip's success owes a lot to the songs that become radio and MTV main stays for years to come. Does that mean the album that homed these singles is good? Well, while the band gripped onto mainstream success with one hand, they loosened their grip with the other that was holding onto their ability to craft solid albums as a whole rather than those destined to be singles, creating a listening experience that is uneven and takes you on a ride over several highs through some low points.

The singles are rightly remembered as the classics they are (bar one exception), featuring some of the most kick-ass rock n' roll songs the band had released alongside ballads that rival many of their past milestones. From the up-tempo powerhouses "Eat The Rich", "Fever" and "Shut Up And Dance" to the slower paced leviathans of "Livin' On The Edge", "Cryin'" and "Amazing" the band pumped out some high-quality tracks. Proving a deft hand at both, Aerosmith show their strength in their diversity, equally able to hold your attention even with the contrasting styles.

The band were still at the peak of their powers behind their instruments, with Perry and Whitford having free rein to imbue some great guitar work throughout the album in front of a rhythm section that holds their own and lets the rest of the band take the lead. Tyler is much the same as usual, up front and wailing his ass off for much of the time, before subduing himself and allowing his voice to be the vehicle for the emotional output of the slower tracks. All credit to Bruce Fairburn, while the instruments aren't as powerful (thus more radio ready), he remedies this by pushing the guitars up in the mix at the right times to compensate to great effect.

What does that mean for the non-single tracks on the album? While they aren't awful, they are nowhere near the quality of prior non-single tracks on the band's previous records; while not falling to filler level, they don't put much distance between themselves and that label. The only non-single that rises beyond that is the title track; it sounds as if it is bursting at the brim with raw energy and that by hitting play you have unlocked the cage that was holding it at bay. The rest of the songs are worth a listen but come across as a lull before the next single kicks in.

Did I forget "Crazy", I hear you ask? No, but I sure wish everyone else would so the song can fade into obscurity. The band seemingly decided to look at what Bon Jovi was doing and copied it from afar; it isn't a great fit for Aerosmith.

Rating breakdown
Performance: 9
Songwriting: 7
Originality: 8
Production: 8

Written by omne metallum | 08.07.2020


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