Picks and Pans Review: Pump

updated 10/30/1989 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 10/30/1989 AT 01:00 AM EST

Aerosmith

It's nice to know there are some things you can depend on in life. Like the pulverizing, brass-knuckles punch of Aerosmith. These seasoned rockers throw down their raucous calling card as soon as they stomp in the door with "Young Lust" and "F.I.N.E." Imagine being whipped into the turnbuckle face-first by Andre the Giant and you get the idea. But what makes Pump—the third offering since the band's 1985 reunion—of special interest is the surprisingly graceful way Aerosmith handles more refined songs, such as "What It Takes" and "Janie's Got a Gun." The record also happens to be marvelously produced by Bruce Fairbairn, deserving comparison to the aural magic that George Martin wove into the classic Beatles' albums. The songwriting lends itself to that kind of treatment. The basic premise is still bluesy hard rock, but there are any number of inventive choruses, bridges, refrains and harmonies. That applies even when they're tearing up the joint, as on "Don't Get Mad, Get Even." On Pump, Aerosmith manages to show some couth without turning in its brass knuckles. Geffen)

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