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Get a Grip

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While Aerosmith were busy capitalizing on the successes spawned by its improbable, career-reviving Permanent Vacation and Pump albums, the rock world was undergoing a Nirvana-inspired seismic shift. And although the Boston boogie-rockers had long worn the ”dinosaur” tag as a badge of honor, this 1993 album is evidence that they took the twin challenges posed by the upsurge of alternative and hip-hop as something more than mere inconvenience. Unfortunately, the sometimes painfully forced, something-for-everyone results only argued that musicians should stick to their guns, come hell, high water–or ominous fashion trends. Or maybe they should have heeded the old adage about too many cooks. Indeed, Aerosmith is supplemented–and sometimes seemingly supplanted–here by no less than six outside writers (including previous vets Desmond Child and Jim Vallance, as well as Hudson brother Mark and retro soul-rocker Lenny Kravitz), and the schizoid production of Vacation and Pump helmsman Bruce Fairbairn, who seems as comfortable with alt rock’s less-is-more ethos as Stone Cold Steve Austin would be in a tutu. The band should’ve known better, too. The social consciousness of ”Livin’ on the Edge” seems contrived, with Steven Tyler’s intermittent rapping utterly disconnected from that on his pioneering ”Walk This Way,” while ”Eat the Rich” inexplicably promotes auto-cannibalism. It’s an album that goes all over the map to get uncomfortably close to nowhere. –Jerry McCulley

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  • There’s some really good music on this album, though it’s not nearly as hard rocking as fans of the older Aerosmith would expect (or perhaps want). The three singles “Amazing,” “Cryin’,” and “Crazy” in particular seem like commercialized pop-rock. That isn’t to say that I don’t like them. As much as I generally hate rock that sounds like it was especially made for radio/MTV, those three songs are just too good to dislike. Then there are the other songs like “Livin’ On the Edge” and “Eat the Rich,” which also got some attention and aren’t too bad. Overall, while it’s not nearly as rocking as the classic Aerosmith stuff, it’s perhaps just as good.

    Posted on December 13, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • Aerosmith weren’t they a rock band once? gritty, down to earth writing killer tunes like ‘toys in the attic’ ’seasons of wither’ and now this drivel. There last chance with me. If you thought ‘permenant vacation’ was bad (‘pump’ had its moments) this is even worse. It includes ‘crazy’ another of Tyler’s dreary ballads and so bland that Bon Jovi would kill for it, as for the rest it is down the line stadium rock, no passion,none of that Aerosmith intensity that made ‘rocks’ so great,dumb music for the dumb MTV generation. Lost my custom boys!

    Posted on December 13, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • 1993’s Get a Grip was the follow up to Aerosmith’s 1989 classic Pump.While Get a Grip was a huge smash hit, it doesn’t rank anywhere close to most of it’s preceeders.I’d say it falls into the ranks of Draw the Line,A Night in the Ruts, and Rock in a Hard Place, all decent albums but not really up to the standards of the rest of Aerosmith’s albums. Their where a handful of hit singles from the album, including Livin’ on the Edge, Cryin’, Crazy, and Amazing. The album is a polished affair with professional songwriters brought in, but it doesn’t have the edge of Permanent Vacation or Pump(both of these albums they used professional songwriters also). Where Pump came close to bringing the Aerosmith sound back to what it used to be, Get a Grip makes a bid for radio airplay, and attracking more of a pop audience then their earlier work.If you like Aerosmith I’m sure you’ll like Get a Grip, but I just want to say that it’s not one of Aerosmith’s best albums, go out and buy the first four albums instead of this one, then you’ll hear the real Aerosmith.

    Posted on December 12, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • THE BAND: Steven Tyler (vocals, piano, harmonica), Joe Perry (guitars), Brad Whitford (guitars), Tom Hamilton (bass), Joey Kramer (drums & percussion).

    THE DISC: (1993) 14 tracks clocking in at just over 62 minutes. Included with the disc is a 6-page foldout containing a band picture, song titles, song lyrics, thank you’s and assorted finger prints (as well as nipples on the disc itself). Several guest musicians contributing on keyboards or backing vocals include Don Henley, Desmond Child, Lenny Kravitz, Ritchie Supa. Recorded at Little Mountain Studios (Vancouver, Canada) and A & M Studios, Los Angeles, CA. Label – Geffen.

    COMMENTS: I like this album, though it was somewhat of a disappointment after “Pump” (1989). The writing was on the wall – the power ballads were coming. “Pump” and “Permanent Vacation” each featured a smash ballad that got tons of air-play. “Get A Grip” features three ballads… “Cryin’”, “Crazy” and “Amazing”. Good songs, but not what I was expecting. These three songs sound similar and I’d be willing to be that most of the listening public would say they’re interchangeable. The song “Eat The Rich” is borderline rap/hip-hop. “Gotta Love It” and Joe Perry’s “Walk On Down” are the weakest tracks on the disc. Perry is a God on the guitar, and his lead vocals on his one song makes me think he should stick to the axe and backing vocals. There are several great songs here… “Get A Grip” with it’s slow heavy drum beat, the fast paced “Fever” and “Shut Up & Dance”, and the 1st hit released from the album “Livin’ On The Edge”. The 3 ballads mentioned above would also be big hits from this album. Like anything the band did in the 90’s or after; the material has changed with the times, but it just can’t compare to their music from the 70’s. A good album for Aerosmith, not a classic though (3.5 stars).

    Posted on December 12, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • This album is PACKED with songs – and they happen to be big songs that rock. Granted, it’s produced with polish, but when you’ve got loads of money and you’re in the big game (AND trying to keep your 2nd wind rolling with momentum in your third decade of relevance), there WILL be some “commercialization” to your music. But if I ever get any point across to anyone, hear ye hear ye: Commercialization doesn’t have to be a bad word if you still back it up with your musical integrity.Many people say that Get a Grip does not back up the integrity of Aerosmith. It’s funny how in the early 90’s, this album was the ONLY thing acceptable in the teenage mainstream (aside from Zeppelin and Floyd) that wasn’t spelled with an N, an I, an R, a V, an N, … you get the idea. So, when it was trendy to bash the 80’s, Aerosmith sort of fell through the cracks of adolescent ridicule and sold millions of this record, and they have been paying for it with many “loyal and disappointed” fans ever since Grunge faded out and the late 90’s gave way to the new Millenium. Now, many call the AmazaCrazyCryin trilogy a bunch of cheesy garbage. Funny how these are the same songs that were colossal hit singles with fans and newly-converted alike, back in 93-94. Then you’ve got your older generation who won’t shut up about how Aerosmith will never rock like “Toys in the Attic.”So, as a fan of All Aerosmith Eras, I hope you can accept that as a chance for an objective (if passionate) review of “Get a Grip”, when placed into the big picture.First of all, in another 5 years, this album will probably be well-remembered again, and probably thought of as a classic, just as some of their 70’s stuff (especially since word is they’re going back to that direction at last). It’s all just a big cycle, and if you need proof, trust me – the 80’s are MUCH more tolerated now than a decade ago. It’s just taboo to touch anything within the 5-15 year span after the initial craze dies down. But I’m gonna touch it. And listen to it. And talk about it. And love it.This album rocks big time. And it doesn’t rock shallowly, either. Joe Perry’s got some scorching solos all throughout (especially given his “sloppy” bluesy balls-to-the-wall technique). The one in “Livin’ on the Edge” is quite melodic and creative. The one in “Crazy” is so tasteful to the mood of the song. And mainly, “Eat the Rich”… this is one of Aerosmith’s greatest non ballad songs ever. It starts with the ‘Walk This Way’ riff, but does not cash in. It dives into a fast gritty riff of its own and plunges into a real calorie-burner of a song, no pun intended. The lyrics, the music, the groove, the cohesiveness as a band, the refraining from substance abuse that often clouded the band’s creativity – it all came together with “Permanent Vaction” and “Pump,” and triumphantly kept on going.Let’s tackle the issue of AmazaCrazyCryin. These songs are expertly written, recorded, and performed. So emotional, not pretensious, at times epic, and when closely analyzed, creatively crafted. If you are thinking they sound like a formula that’s been repeated over and over, … don’t forget that someone first has to invent the formula. There, issue tackled.Anyone thinking chants of “sellout” might want to think of the pressure-filled situation of having sold gazillions of copies and STILL having the ball in your court, knowing that the public won’t forget you’ve got another album coming up again. This album also proves that not so long ago, you could have 5 HUGE big singles and NOT chalk the rest of an album up to filler. This album can be thought of as a great template which, aside from Amazin/Crazy/Cryin, has never stimulated later influence in other artists who boybands shall here britney go unnamed matchbox20.Only “Gotta Love it” gets a bit boring and repetitive, and even there, they experimented with some different chords that just didn’t happen to work. As far as 14 song journeys go, “Get a Grip” is one of the strongest albums. I think it’s a wonderful touch to close with a well-written instrumental (“Boogie Man”), showcasing immense diversity for an American staple known as Aerosmith.Don’t get me wrong, I DO have issues with outside writers, when the band could do it themselves (I’ve got huge problems with the Diane Warren infection that would soon follow), but in my modestly educated opinion, the product as a whole DOES sound like the band you expect it to sound like, just a next-decade upgrade (And I usually call veteran rockers’ “evolutions” DOWNGRADES instead).Bottom line, put all the mild controversy aside, put the phones on (or crank the stereo up) and blast off to Aeroland. You’d be hard-pressed to honestly call “Get a Grip” anything short of quality rock and roll from a legendary band that does just that.

    Posted on December 12, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now