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Permanent Vacation

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  • This album is almost as good as Done with Mirrrors. As is it ranks as the third best of Aerosmith’s comeback records. If you’re wondering, in order they are: 3)Permanent Vacation 2)Done with Mirrors 1)Pump It was all downhill after Pump. With 1993’s Get A Grip they became a corporate hit-making machine, churning out Sappy MTV inspired drivel. And one ends up asking themself “Are these the same guys who sang Back in the saddle?” As a native Bostonian it’s sad to say, I used to be proud of these guys, now I see ‘em on stage with Britney Spears and just shake my head in shame. Although I will say this, they’re still a pretty decent live-act. Oh yeah! (No pun intended) I forgot, I was reviewing Permanent Vacation. Following the unjust commercial failure of Done with mirrors, the boys headed up to Vancouver to work with Bon Jovi Producer Bruce Fairbairn (R.I.P) to help give their sound more apeal. And they used outside writers to spruce up their songs. It works for the most part, this album here is still undoubtedly Aerosmith at the Core, yet it had a slight commercial twist. And the band members at least co-wrote all the tunes, in other words you won’t have syrupy garbage like “I don’t wanna miss a thing.” The album starts off with “Hearts done time” one of the all-time great Aero openers. Some have called this song boring, but I disagree, it’s got Joey Kramer’s bombastic drumming and Steven Tyler’s patented screams at the end. The next track “Magic Touch” features a prominent Twin Guitar crunch with a nice Joe Perry Solo. I believe these songs are vastly overlooked and underrated in the Aerosmith catalog, they never show up on the compilations. “Ragdoll” is the hit we all know by heart. It displays a too-funky-for-it’s-own goo guitar lick and an enchanting horn section. Mr. Tyler’s verses are chock full of swagger. Plus, ya gotta love that video ;) The fourth track is “Simoriah” which I never hear mentioned at all. Probably because it’s not an excellent song, granted, I like the Guitar arrangement that kicks it off, but it sounds a bit dated. “Dude looks like a lady” is strong of course. I’ve heard this song was written about Motley Crue’s Vince Neil, though I’m not sure. “St. John” and “Hangman jury” are two tracks that are criminally overlooked and underrated. The former displaying some heavy duty Rocks-era riffing and clever lyrics. “Hangman jury” revels in the bands roots. It’s very bluesy, Steven Tyler’s on the Harmonica. The song builds up slowly and then the duel guitars carry it home. “Girl keeps coming apart” is decent. I didn’t like it at first but it’s since grown on me. It has a catchy hook, if not careful, you’ll singit all day. Following that is the song that I never cared much for “Angel”. It takes you to Velveeta-land. Brush your teeth after listening, it drips with syrup and sap. Given Aerosmith’s great history of tear-jerking, heartfelt ballads, like “Dream on” “You see me cryin” and “Home tonight”, Simply put, this one doesn’t stack up and is a big letdown. The title track is enjoyable, it has a carribean flavor with steel drums in the background. Their cover of the Beatles’ “I’m down” is pulled off with ease. Closing the album is an instrumental “The movie” with a great Tom Hamilton bass line, with Brad Whitford, Joe Perry and Joey Kramer giving it their all, and similar to Cal Ripken, Ironman Steve Tyler sits one out. In closing this album is just a notch below Pump and Done with mirrors, you should still pick it up. The songs that didn’t make it onto the Radio are very good.

    Posted on January 12, 2010