Bands that have been around as long as Aerosmith rarely have the talent, inspiration, and dedication to remain creatively relevant after 30-plus years in the business. Most settle into a comfortable groove of hit-focused reunion tours and give-the-people-what-they-want albums, and that’s fine. But there’s always a few who think they’re still dynamic and inspired, and set out to prove it, only to fall flat on their heavily botoxed asses — and Aerosmith’s first album in over eight years should be entered into evidence against them ever making another one. Steven Tyler and Joe Perry can be forgiven for taking such a long time to put out new material; their recent history has been turbulent, to say the least. But what can’t be forgiven is the shoddy material: cheap rehashes of previous hits (“Legendary Child”), misguided duets (the deeply confused “Can’t Stop Loving You” with Carrie Underwood), and a particularly rabid case of Diane Warren Disease on the dire ballad “We All Fall Down.” Tyler’s still in fine fettle, and there’s a few songs that are tolerable if not memorable, but this is an album that can’t even live up to the generally weak standards of latter-day Aerosmith. Time to go, fellas.
★★ (out of 5 stars)