Toys in the Attic – Aerosmith

I’ve been really dropping the ball lately, but I’m back again for another Flashback Friday. I was feeling a little homesick today, so I decided to review a group from back home. Known as “The Boston Bad Boys”, Aerosmith released their first album in 1973, and in 1975 they broke into the mainstream scene with their third album Toys in the Attic. Walk this way and we’ll take a look at an album that helped define the still blues-infused hard rock of the 70s.

The Vocals:

When you talk about rock and roll singers, Steven Tyler’s name is bound to come up. He’s got this crazy wailing growl to his voice that makes your stomach turn when you hear it but in a good way. His work on this album was no doubt a reason it saw such commercial success. His signature wail is showcased on songs like “Walk This Way,” but he also reveals a more soulful tone on tracks like “Big Ten Inch Record” and “Sweet Emotion,” which showed the blues influences that I felt got lost a bit in their later work. He was also a pretty good judge on American Idol in my opinion.

The Instrumentals:

They rock. Drummer Joey Kramer and bassist Tom Hamilton run the tightest rhythm section in rock and roll. Kramer holds some pretty quick beats through a lot of these songs, and Tom Hamilton keeps up with him the whole way, most notably in “Walk This Way.” With guitarists Joe Perry and Brad Whitford mixed in they had all the essential ingredients to make good rock music. Brad Whitford takes care of most of the rhythm guitar, and Joe Perry took care of absolutely shredding. They all come together to create a sound almost as distinctive as their front man’s voice. Really good stuff.

The X-Factor:

Not every song on here is a classic, and there’s only nine of them. “Sweet Emotion” and “Walk This Way” are the only ones you’d probably know if you never really got into this band. That being said, there are some real toe-tappers on this album. “Big Ten Inch Record,” for example, is a cool 12 bar blues style rock song with a funky walking baseline that’s very different from their normal style. To get to my point, although not every song is well known, it’s still an album I could throw on in the background and not press skip.

The Essentials:

“Sweet Emotion,” “Walk This Way,” “Big Ten Inch Record,” and “Toys in the Attic”

The Rating:

All things considered, I’d give it a…..

8.7

Can’t complain about a B+. See you next week.

-Drew

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