Back in 2009, Steven Tyler was quoted in Classic Rock magazine, “I don’t know what I’m doing yet, but it’s definitely going to be something Steven Tyler… [I’m] working on the brand of myself – Brand Tyler.” If this new album is any indication of how the brand quality holds up, then Steven Tyler has met his goals. This is the album that can bridge the listener back into music, not only for fans but for future musicians as well. Dare I say it; this is the record that may “save the rock music industry.” With the over-hyped coverage of the Toxic Twins infighting, it seemed there might have been some truth of a split up. However, “Brand Tyler” will only increase “Brand Aerosmith.”
Artist: Steven Tyler
Album Title: We’re All Somebody From Somewhere
Release Date: 15 July 2016
Label: Dot Records
- My Own Worst Enemy
- We’re All Somebody From Somewhere
- 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 (with The Loving Mary Band)
Opening track, “My Own Worst Enemy,” is a beautiful acoustic song, with excellent production quality, creating an amazing introduction to the album. It has a country vibe, right up to the guitar solo, which breaks into a rock-n-roll groove and fades with an epic outro. An audio sample starts the title track, “We’re All Somebody from Somewhere,” a song rooted in blues-rock that really jumps out and keeps the foot tapping, with an infectious sing-along chorus and horn section, this one has a radio-ready attraction. The ultimate party bar song.
Steven Tyler penned many beautiful power ballads in his lifetime. Titles such as “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing,” “Angel,” and “Dream On.” So yes, the obligatory ballad is here but not in the Aerosmith vein. Songs that are heartfelt and warm, such as “It Ain’t Easy,” “Love Is Your Name,” could easily bring healing to a troubled relationship. Tyler’s voice has never sounded more soulful. The acoustic ensemble of banjo, cello, with the subtle electric guitars and a splash of violin makes this album mesmerizing. The Cat Stevens vibe of the cover of Chelsea Basham’s, “I Make My Own Sunshine,” sends a message of determination, and is an overall feel-good toe-tapper. “Gypsy Girl,” another song with the perfect blend of melody and hook, with its fading, dry marching snare drum adding a dramatic end to the track.
Tyler is determined to rule the country kingdom. Songs like “Somebody New,” “Only Heaven,” and “Sweet Louisiana,” are geared for country radio without losing touch with any of Tyler’s rock heritage. Since country music was one of the reason why rock music even happened it made perfect sense for this rock and roll rebel returning to his roots. There are a few surprises, such as a haunting version of “Jaimie’s Got A Gun,” and a cover version of “Piece of My Heart,” originally recorded by the late Erma Franklin, and made famous by Big Brother and the Holding Company featuring Janis Joplin on lead vocals. Tyler’s spin on these songs is uniquely his own and very much a part of “Brand Tyler.” Not only does this album set the bar high, it is the summer record to own.