We're All Somebody From Somewhere review by Steven Tyler

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  • Released: Jul 15, 2016
  • Sound: 5
  • Lyrics: 7
  • Overall Impression: 5
  • Reviewer's score: 5.7 Decent
  • Users' score: 5.8 (4 votes)
Steven Tyler: We're All Somebody From Somewhere
2

Sound — 5
Steven Tyler, the dynamic lead vocalist for American hard rockers Aerosmith, stepping out onto his own as a solo artist and recording a country album? This would have been news right after the release of "Rocks" or just before Aerosmith's comeback with "Permanent Vacation," however Tyler hasn't been quiet about his admiration for country music over the past few decades. It's been apparent over the last handful of Aerosmith records, especially the most recent "Music From Another Dimension," which was cluttered with twingy power ballads spanning roughly half the record (one of which was even a duet with Carrie Underwood on "Can't Stop Lovin' You," which still leaves most Aerosmith fans scratching their heads). Between that and Tyler's decision to step away from the rock group to spend a few years as a judge on "American Idol," the seemingly surprising notion that the Screamin' Demon has ventured out on his own to record an album with the assistance of decorated country songwriters in the city of Nashville is anything but. Does that mean "We're All Somebody From Somewhere," Tyler's debut solo album, is something that dedicated rock listeners should stray away from?

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That decision should be largely based around whether or not you were enjoying the past few decades of Aerosmith albums. There are several songs on this release which could have passed as a new Aerosmith track, such as the modern grooving attitude of "Hold On (Won't Let Go)" and the slow acoustic vibes on the opening track "My Own Worst Enemy." There's the emphasis on vocal melody which has always been a trademark of Tyler's, not to mention the singer still has the range and emotion that we heard on "Pump," but if anything the major change lies at the instrumentation of the record. Acoustic guitars, banjo and slide guitar make regular appearances throughout the course of the effort, which winds out the country vibes of "I Make My Own Sunshine" and the title track "We're All Somebody From Somewhere." Stand assured, this is a country album through and through, and you can easily tell from the track listing alone; with songs like "Red, White & You," "Sweet Louisiana" and "Love Is Your Name" one can already anticipate what Tyler's going to be singing about, most often references to America and farmland and backyard barbeques. It's all palatable and comes off rather well, but one can't help but feel like it's forcedly trying to resonate with country listeners. "We're All Somebody From Somewhere" does pander to that audience and Tyler doesn't bring much new to the table besides his voice to these songs, aside from a rather solid rebranding of "Janie's Got a Gun" and a similarly exceptional cover of 's "Piece of My Heart," which close the album on a more resonating note.

Lyrics — 7
There's no knocking Steven Tyler's performance on "We're All Somebody From Somewhere," or really any of his recent performances in the studio or onstage. Tyler underwent vocal surgery some years back and since then has been singing as strong as ever; his range is intact and hasn't had to trade his distinctive rasp to make up for the higher notes, as some aging rock vocalists have had to do over the years. So no matter how distant the musical side to "We're All Somebody From Somewhere" may feel to Aerosmith fans, there's always that sense of familiarity throughout the album's fifteen tracks. Lyrically on the other hand, it's as commercially country as they come on songs like the aforementioned "Red, White & You": "Bang bang baby like the 4th of July/ A Lightning strike in the midnight sky/ Don't give a damn about the summertime blues/ All I need is red white and you/ Can't let those colors fade, tell me you're gonna stay/ American girls making dreams come true/ All I need is red, white and you."

Overall Impression — 5
Aerosmith singer Steven Tyler finally realizes his dream of stepping out as a solo artist and moving into the realm of country music with his debut standalone effort, "We're All Somebody From Somewhere." It isn't the most exceptional release from the vocalist, yet it retains an unfortunate relevance to the past few Aerosmith records and still has it's fair share of memorable moments. If anything, perhaps this will allow Tyler to have a new medium to deliver his country passions and allow for Aerosmith to craft a steady hard rock comeback.

21 comments sorted by best / new / date

    logicbdj
    It's no different than the direction Plant took, or Ritchie Blackmore. They did the rock thing and they want to experience something else in life, which doesn't sit well with the rock fans. Regardless, good for him if he's happy an this is what he wants to do... life is short.
    beggar__
    I admit I can see it as a little cringy, but at the same time, when you just go with it, I kinda like the vibe of the music with the video (Love is your name). I wouldn't mind sitting there with them playing guitar instead of being stuck at shitty job! Freaking country pirates! There are far worse things in music than this.
    bollingerad
    I like newish country music: OCMS, Chris Stapleton, Chris Knight. But this? This is Nashville shit. Fucking shit, and I'm disappointed in Tyler for being a part of it. It's everything wrong with modern country and he's waving that poser flag just like every other wannabe country boy. I thought he would have done something meaningful with his country music. I was wrong.
    BwareDWare94
    Dude, Chris Knight has been around since the 90s. His debut album came out in 1998. The guy is awesome.
    bollingerad
    True man! What I meant was around nineties and forward, though. When most people talk of "good" country they're stuck in the 70's with Waylon and Cash. Love those type of guys, don't get me wrong, but there's good modern country too!
    Circumstances23
    the people on this site will be biased and dumb, but people in the real world seem to actually enjoy this. He still has a great voice and Aerosmith was holding him back anyway.
    glenn.dungate
    Is it just me or does he owe John Mayer some cash or credit for his choice in album cover ?!
    Subatomic7
    Definitely not Raising Sands, but his voice sounds pretty damn good. I'll go see Aerosmith in concert (again).
    ugmindfreak
    Giving this a good listen right now. Not bad so far. Ratings ain't great but I think this dude and Cornell are the best singers around so I gotta give it a fair chance.