Aerosmith - Honkin' On Bobo
Blues Rock
12 songs (43:37)
Release year: 2004
Reviewed by Jeff
Major event

Aerosmith have been releasing albums within the music industry for over 30 years now! During their amazing career they have seen their fair share of highs and lows. This includes mutli-platinum selling albums along with some duds, sold out concerts, group turmoil, drug and management problems, etc. Through it all they have survived and have rightfully earned a place in the Rock N’ Roll Hall of Fame. Much of their success, especially in the late 80's, was helped by using the power ballad formula. Aerosmith have now reached a point in their career where they have seen, done and experienced almost everything rock stars can experience. Now that they have come full circle, they can afford to do whatever they want without risking much.

Blues influences have always been prevalent on Aerosmith albums. Songs like “Walkin The Dog” from the debut, “Train Kept A Rollin” from “Get Your Wings”, “Milk Cow Blues” from “Draw The Line", and "The Hop" from "Done With Mirrors" are just a few examples. It's only natural for Aerosmith to release an album totally engulfed in the genre. They have taken a break from the power ballad formula used on the last string of releases and strip down the music to it's basic elements. They go back to the very roots that made them what they are today.

"Honkin' on Bobo" represents a number of cover songs (most originally done by the great blues artists of the genre) and one Aerosmith original called "The Grind". Over all, the music is pretty good for what it's worth, though I don't see the CD spending an extended periond of time on my players as this stuff can grow old on you pretty fast. I prefer “Rocks” and “Toys in the Attic” era Aerosmith. They translate the music more rock 'n roll than blues, stamping their identity on it and make the songs sound as if they were their own. Aerosmith sound relaxed and seem to really enjoy what they are playing, just jamming away. The sounds of the harmonica, steel guitar, piano and hammond organ help give the music a rock and roll feel. This is also helped by the production of Jack Douglas, who was a big part in Aerosmith's 70's success on the albums "Get Your Wings" through "Draw The Line". Aerosmith sound fresh, rejuvenated, even liberated from the need to have a hit power ballad, though "The Grind" could almost pass for one. They cover The Who's "Eyesight To The Blind" from "Tommy" and really color the song in blues making you think this was the way the orignal was meant to sound. Joe Perry lends his lead vocals on "Back Back Train" with a little help from Tracy Bonham, who sounds like a dead ringer for Stevie Nicks. Steven Tyler can play a mean harmonica and Joe Perry's leads are expressed with much feeling and emotion.

I had the opportunity to see Aerosmith with Kiss back in November at Madison Square Garden in New York. Aerosmith played a few songs from "Honkin' on Bobo" back then and they translated well in the live setting. At the time I didn't know the whole album would be blues inspired.

For old school, die-hard Aerosmith fans, this release should be a welcomed one. For the teeny boppers used to the sappy power ballads like "Cryin'", "Angel" and "Amazing", go buy a Bon Jovi record!

America's "Led Zeppelin" still show that they have alot of life left in them. Who knows, at the rate Aerosmith are going, they'll be around as long as the Rolling Stones. I still hope the next Aerosmith album that consists of original material will continue to go back to the roots; the roots of the mid seventies. I thought the "Nine Lives" release came pretty close at times, but then they went in another direction with "Just Push Play". "Honkin' on Bobo" seems like step in the right direction to get them back on track so the "train will keep a rollin'".


Killing Songs :
Shame, Shame, Shame/You Gotta Move/The Grind/Eyesight To The Blind/Baby, Please Don't Go
Jeff quoted 70 / 100
Marty quoted 75 / 100
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