Album of the week
With those wacky Carnaby Street scarves, his elaborately embroidered jeans—bell-bottoms yet!—and his hippie-on-a-weird-hair-day look, Steven Tyler is so out of style it hurts. At 53 he’s a walking throwback whose prolonged adolescence has now stretched into a new century. Shouldn’t we beg him to grow up and get real? Not on your life. Even as he and Joe Perry and the lads are inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame this month, they prove that they’re not yet ready to act like museum pieces on their decidedly uncalcified 13th studio album. Relics simply don’t rock this hard. Nor do they pack their songs with the kind of goofy puns (“if my karma suits you” is typical of the wordplay Tyler indulges), irresistible if sometimes predictable hooks and guitar riffs that abound here. Like the eternally buff Perry, who could actually pass for one of his band’s rock-and-roll-crazy fans, the ‘Smithies are ageless.
Bottom Line: No rocking chairs needed for these irrepressible rockers