They’re Baaaaacck! After a short 11-year hiatus, one of rock’s most dysfunctional families finally released an album of new material.

It’s a rugged, back to basics album with the band returning to their gritty, arena rock roots. Producer Jack Douglas’s old school touch (Toys in the Attic, Rocks, Honkin’ on Bobo) is evident as Tyler’s full throttle voice is strong throughout, as is Perry’s scorching guitar. Each member had a hand in contributing material. Perry’s rocking “Oh Yeah”  is used early in live shows as  a statement that the band is back with a renewed vigor.

The first track “Luv XXX” begins with a spooky introduction suitable for a Laserium show followed by bruising drums and guitar that set the stage for the return to the true Aerosmith sound built over the last four decades. There is no need for heavy thinking; the songs are mostly about fun and sex.

The catchy single, “Legendary Child” should have no problem charting due to cross format airplay and as a featured song of the MLB post season.

The duet with Carrie Underwood on “Can’t Stop Loving You” is a disappointment. It sounds like the group is trying to inject hard rock into a syrupy top 40 country ballad.

This is somewhat rectified by with “What Could Have been love”, a soaring, aggressive ballad performed Tyler style at arena volume.

The album takes an unexpected political turn with the hard charging “Freedom Fighter” A peace lover’s camera  is a metaphorical weapon  pitted against the aggression of an oppressor

“I’m a freedom fighter
I aim my camera and I take a stand
I’m a freedom fighter and I hear your lies
The guns you carry and the bombs you make cause too many tears and hearts to break”

Tyler is finished judging pop stars and back to being a rock star. It suits him well.

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