Just Push Play

Aerosmith’s first album since 1997’s Nine Lives rocks much harder—and better—than its predecessor does. Maybe that’s because the “Boneyard Boys” (Aerosmith’s equivalent to the Stones’ Glimmer Twins) produced it this time, instead of music biz-pro Glenn Ballard. Steven Tyler’s screaming vocals really rock—even though he’s really starting to look like Mick Jagger’s mother. Hey, the Stones wish they could cut an album with this much energy. Don’t be put off by the first single, “Jaded.” It’s a “power ballad,” but “Beyond Beautiful” and “Trip Hoppin’ ” are both old-school grungy, balls-to-the-wall rock ’n’ roll like Aerosmith used to do. On the title cut, the band samples its own “Walk This Way.” Joe Perry’s guitar work is exhilarating, especially on the cool freakout rock of “Light Inside.” Aerosmith may not break new ground here, but the band does put rock back on the charts—where it belongs.