Aerosmith: “Get a Grip” Takes Me Back to My MTV Love Affair

I’m sure I knew about the band Aerosmith before I was in middle school, but their overall rock n roll presence did not come alive for me until that time period when my parents divorced and my consolation prize for a broken home was we got cable television! MTV played the Aerosmith videos with Alicia Silverstone in them on a daily basis and those tracks will forever be what I identify Aerosmith with firstly. I liked the music, but not enough to seek out the albums and give them a listen, I am shocked to realize I have never actually listened to an Aerosmith album from start to finish. I will begin the journey in the time period they were most special to me with the “Get A Grip” album.

“Intro”: It’s weird how many albums begin with the same song titled “Intro,” well, the same but all different I suppose. Okay, that’s not weird I’m just being annoying, but Steven Tyler is weird and he rambles some quick poetry in this few seconds of “welcome to the album.”

“Eat The Rich”: Jungle sounds, someone has let the monkeys out of their cages and given them guitars and such. This song seems to be a statement about the rich and their whiny rich ways, but as far as social commentary goes this track is silly, especially coming from rich musicians. I guess they seem to be taking the stance that rags to riches is alright, just born rich people are annoying. By the time it broke back down to some more jungle sounds I was ready to tune out.

“Get A Grip”: When this song opens it reminds me of the Guns N Roses song “Paradise City,” or other similar sounding songs. I think from a marketing stand point the song that the album seems to be named after should be strong enough for a stand alone single, therefore keeping the full album name in mind for all who love the song. “Get A Grip” throws some sound gimmicks into it, but fails as an interesting song overall.

“Fever”: This song feels like it got passed over by the “Roadhouse” movie soundtrack. Rock guitars, harmonica, and a boot stomping pace, this is boot-scootin’-boogie music. Outside of the line dancing line this song doesn’t hold up.

“Livin’ On The Edge”: The party vibe is shucked and a more somber tone takes place as Aerosmith observes the ill state of the world. I remember the music video for this song and there was a green dude in it or something. This is a classic to some, but was never one of my favorites. The music itelf is interesting, but all of the parts put together doesn’t really do it for me. It’s not something to rock out to and it doesn’t fall into the emotional ballad range either, more or less an interesting soundscape with a little too much preaching and too long at over 6 minutes in length.

“Flesh”: One might confuse this for a Rob Zombie song at first with the old broadcast voice usage and spaced out, spooky sound effects. It goes from there to an easy listening rock song that is then shredded by Steven Tyler screeching the chorus like a chicken being slowly murdered. This song actually gives me a headache, messy.

“Shut Up And Dance”: Aerosmith does not capitalize on the spirit that the title implies, in my opinion. This song does not have as much get-up-and-go to it as it seems they wanted and I don’t feel like dancing, or shutting up.

“Cryin'”: One of the essential Aerosmith songs from when I was growing up, at least in terms of being pushed into my memory thanks to MTV and the hotness of IT at the time girl: Alicia Silverstone. The storytelling skills of Aerosmith are in effect for this song, as the trials of a turbulent relationship are emoted through lyric. It hits all of the right notes.

“Gotta Love It”: Telling me that “I Gotta Love It” was the first sour note, but then the song started and it proved to be the weak album filler I figured on. I blanked out for a moment, maybe I was bored, or maybe there is a drug effect laced into the song and that it the reaction I am supposed to have?

“Crazy”: Another classic that brings back my middle school days and first access to MTV. Alicia Silverstone was back and joined by Liv Tyler in the video for this one. Once again, the song tells a story, whereas many of the other tracks on the album are more about random insanity. This song is slower than ‘˜Cryin'” and I prefer the mood of it. It doesn’t get any simpler in terms of concept, but Aerosmith handles the descriptions well in telling this girl how she drives them crazy.

“Line Up”: I cannot put my finger on it, but this song sounds like a rip off of some other or nursery rhyme or something. A bunch of horns and another track with a more honky-tonk style of rock approach. Skip.

“Boogie Man”: No boogie, I was disappointed. Just a brief, low-key, outro instrumental.

I am not just partial to the two songs I so fondly remember the sexy music videos of, but find that they are the only two songs I really like from the album. “Cryin'” is good, and “Crazy” is better.