Kick ass country ‘n rock ‘n roll…
Released on 15 July 2016 through Dot Music
Scribbles by Martin Stanyer
Steven Tyler is no stranger to the music scene. A worn and weathered bona fide rock star whose vocals still deliver as fresh today as they did all those years ago. A godfather and pioneer of making sure that everything that should ooze sex, drugs and rock and roll still does. So why go solo? And more importantly, why go country? I put this album on with some apprehension that it may not be anything like the Steven Tyler I loved and got to know via such classics as ‘You see me Crying’, ‘Love In An Elevator’, or ‘Toys In The Attic’. Thankfully he didn’t disappoint me. Rather than being the other way around, We’re All Somebody From Somewhere is a kick ass rock ‘n roll record with a country tinge.
Opener ‘My Own Worst Enemy’ starts off with some great blues guitar chords and a nice touch of accordion, but Tyler’s voice is so distinctive it screams Aerosmith. Not a criticism as he is trying to move onto something new, and yes, the country does shine through, but those high vocals that he screams out so well add a great touch of raw emotion.
The title track carries that blues swagger, the references lyrically can be country but this does remind me of Aerosmith’s blues effort Honkin’ on Bobo. A great punchy drum provides the beat for this tune, Tyler’s vocals are a little lower register but he still can’t resist hitting that high scream buried low in the mix. The musicians playing alongside him on this record are second to none and the talent shines through on a grand scale.
‘It Ain’t Easy’ opens up the more soulful side, a more gentle approach of loneliness, country slides, lap steel guitar. You can hear the country vibe on this, perhaps the most significant song on the record. ‘It’s like trying to squeeze a drop of rain out of the sun’ Tyler croons. It certainly does hit the heart strings.
Picking up the pace is ‘Love Is Your Name ‘ a summer feel-good anthem that’s got a touch of Bon Jovi’s country inspired record Lost Highway. Powerful, emotive, whatever Tyler is trying to convey from that brain of his is coming out in waves. Elaborate and fresh , his relevance is still strong , and in a day and age of manufactured pop acts Steven shows us how he can wipe the floor and still be the bearer of the title of Rock n Rolls greatest showman.
There are elements of maybe more B-side-like material. ‘I Make My Own Sunshine’ is a lot less killer and more filler – a track to skip over. But to be followed up by ‘Gypsy Girl’ maybe one can forgive the previous song. Besides there are fifteen songs on here that make you want to have some fun with some summer romance. Tyler has always been a great portrayer of storytelling, a long lost art in song-writing.
‘Only Heaven’ and ‘Red White and You’ are modern classics, a little Bryan Adams but there is nothing wrong with that. Sometimes a little bit of honesty in songwriting is required and that is what country is about. Power chords over those country guitars make this a slick and super vibe. Nice little blues solos weave in and out of these musical tapestries bouncing off Tylers superb vocal range. This would be great music to hear in a good blues club.
My interest lay in the cover of ‘Janie’s Got A Gun’, a personal Aerosmith favourite dealing with issues of abuse. For me, I think why mess with perfection, but I can see the need for experimentation and whilst it doesn’t work for me it may open doors for those who have never heard Aerosmtih and love a bit of country and blues. ‘Piece of my Heart’ well this screams Steven Tyler! Fucking incredible is all I can say. A song that was made for this rock ‘n roll maestro. He kicks ass all over this, and I mean kick ass, just a great album closer.
There is not much wrong with this album. It’s passionate and nice to see Steven taking a new direction. A key player for country, maybe not, but he can definitely help other artists make the cross over, and this record should go down as the one that bridged the gap, as much as ‘Walk This Way’ helped bring rock and rap together. Steven Tyler – rock ‘n rolls last hope and Country’s favourite rockstar.
9 out of 10
- My Own Worst Enemy
- We’re All Somebody from Somewhere
- Hold On (Won’t Let Go)
- It Ain’t Easy
- Love Is Your Name
- I Make My Own Sunshine
- Gypsy Girl
- Somebody New
- Only Heaven
- The Good, the Bad, the Ugly & Me
- Red, White & You
- Sweet Louisiana
- What Am I Doin’ Right?
- Janie’s Got a Gun
- Piece of My Heart (feat. The Loving Mary Band)