I have committed a horrible sin.

Used to be, way back in the early 90’s, Aerosmith was my all time favorite band. I had all of their old albums on cassette – these things went for like $4 – along with their new ones. When the era of the CD came into my life, I bought all of their old albums – again – on CD when they got re-released. Then I sold them all (at a loss) to people I knew so I could buy Box of Fire – a boxed set with all of their old albums, plus a bonus CD. I have purchased all of their latest albums on the first day.

In recent years Aerosmith has kinda fallen by the wayside. I still think they’re great (even with that blasphemous Super Bowl appearance), but other groups have filled the four year gap that seems to separate Aerosmith albums. I’ve been spoiled by biannual releases by groups like GWAR and Metallica (though the latter of those two seem to enjoy unloading outtakes each year at Christmas). Groups like Tool can afford to wait four years or more – their albums seem to be better that way. Still, I’m an Aerosmith fan out of principle if not necessarily by practice.

Tomorrow, March 6th, their new album Just Push Play will be released. I, however, will not be purchasing it. This has nothing to do with loyalty or any commentary on my opinion on them – it’s because I’m broke. Well, not really, but my financial situation won’t be comfortable for a while (I’m hoping April).

That’s not the sin, however. The sin is that I have already listened to the album on CD. Yup – I’ve become the music industry’s worst nightmare – I have the album on MP3 and have already burned off a copy. I’d love to know how exactly someone got a hold of the album early. I tried to not use my knowledge to obtain a copy, but money’s tight and blank CD’s are cheap.

I will repent, however. Come April I’m purchasing the album. And probably the Jaded CD single as well (Aerosmith is one of those groups I like to collect). This doesn’t make it right, however. If there are enough “me”s in the world, then Just Push Play won’t hit #1 on the charts this week. My April purchase won’t make much difference in a month. And that’s why the music industry is afraid – if the big fans won’t pay, then who will?

Moving past all of that, it is kinda cool to listen to an album before it’s released – even if it’s just for a day.

Moving further, here’s my nutshell review:

Just Press Play

Artists have a conundrum. If they make albums that all sound the same, then they grow stale, but if they change from album to album, then people wish they sounded more like the group they used to like.

In listening to Just Press Play, I kinda wish we had the good ol’ Rock and Roll Aerosmith, like in “Rag Doll” or “Young Lust”. Having said that, the album’s not bad – I just wish they’d ditch the horn section from time to time.

The first ever Aerosmith produced Aerosmith album works – but it’s a little too heavy on samples and other effects – record scratching should never find their way unto an Aerosmith CD. However upon first listen, it’s entertaining.

As for the cover art, however, well Aerosmith’s last three or so album covers have sucked – the worst being Get a Grip. This one has a robot Marilyn Monroe doing that blown-up dress maneuver. She looked too much like that computer animated Super Bowl commercial about canned food (look it up!). Some artists can afford to have crappy cover art (when the Rolling Stones do it’s it’s fine art), but Aerosmith needs to do some more work.

It’s great to have the Bad Boys from Boston back, and if there’s any justice in this Eminem/Britney Spears/Jennifer Lopez/(generic Boy Band) infected world, they’ll kick ass and bring Rock and Roll back with them. We can only hope.

Oh, and a new issue of Total Movie came in the mail today – looks like they made it to four issues.