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Picks and Pans Review: Honkin' on Bobo

updated 04/05/2004 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 04/05/2004 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Aerosmith
BLUES-ROCK

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Blues great Muddy Waters once sang, "The blues had a baby, and they named the baby rock and roll." That lineage has been evident in Aerosmith's music since Steven Tyler and company launched their recording career in 1973. On this follow-up to 2001's platinum Just Push Play, the band pays fitting tribute to its musical roots, pouring sweet emotion into a collection of blues covers. Indeed, this labor of love finds the veteran rockers sounding as if they are having tons of fun on rollicking numbers such as Big Joe Williams's "Baby Please Don't Go," Mississippi Fred McDowell's "You Got to Move" and the Bo Diddley classic "Road Runner." The album also includes one original song, the trademark power ballad "The Grind," that underlines Aerosmith's ability to seamlessly blend blues and rock sensibilities. Best, though, is "Never Loved a Girl," a rootsy reworking of Aretha Franklin's "I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You)" that showcases Tyler's raspy wail and Joe Perry's bluesy guitar licks. But they could have done without the traditional gospel "Jesus Is on the Main Line," which won't make anyone a believer.

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