Joe Perry Joe Perry
By Zane Ewton
Taking a break from his duties in Aerosmith,
Joe Perry is releasing his first solo album since 1984s Once a Rocker,
Always a Rocker. When Perry split from Aerosmith in the early 80s
he released three albums under the Joe Perry Project banner.
Still in the depths of a drug problem,
Perry employed a band with a different vocalist on each record. This
new eponymous album is just Joe Perry, recorded in his basement by himself,
the way a solo record should be done.
Joe Perry completely lacks the
glossy sheen that has accompanied the last few Aerosmith albums.
While some of the songs could have been obvious Aerosmith tracks, others
come across as a firm step away from that signature sound. But the
one constant throughout is Perrys guitar and fans of his work will find
much to be pleased with on this record. His vocal style compliments
the songs well and is one of the records many highlights.
Perry brings out some full-size riffs
on the first two tracks, Shakin My Cage and Hold on Me, then experiments
with a Middle Eastern flair on Pray for Me. The album glides between
the greasy leads he is known for and the experimental interludes that are
scattered throughout. The latter includes the track Crystal Ship,
which might be a turnoff for fans of arena rock but pleases nonetheless.
Only one obvious ballad, Ten Years, is a highlight towards the albums
The album remains consistent through the
end, including the two instrumental tracks, Twilight and Mercy.
It is hard to not think of what Aerosmith could have done with these songs,
and if these are in fact some of the songs that they did not want to pursue
then they may be going down the wrong direction. This is especially
true after the forgettable Just Push Play. The few missteps
can be forgiven considering how many highlights this album has. Fans
will be in hog heaven and Perry branches out enough to even grab a few
It is too bad that this is just a footnote
before Perry goes back to his day job. He sounds excited to be making
music on this album. The freedom to play whatever he wants on each
instrument probably had a lot to do with that. But good things can
happen when a legendary guitarist gets excited about music again, and this
record is one of them.
May 03, 2005
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Shakin' My Cage
Hold On Me
Pray For Me
Push Comes To Shove
Dying To Be Free
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