Steven Tyler needs little introduction. The pouty-lipped, theatrical, blazing, “Demon of Screamin”, frontman of the long-standing Boston-based rock band, Aerosmith, would have been a little hard to ignore over the past, more than 40 years, since the band first formed. So the very thought of Steven Tyler swapping in the eccentrics and edginess of rock for the comfort and conformity of country would leave most feeling a little sceptical. But if you break it down, in essence, the birth of the genre of Rock N Roll did originally originate from a mix of the blues, gospel and what do you know, country. Steven essentially is exploring a basic elemental genre of an otherwise wider genre of music that he has so far, been dedicated to.
We’re All Somebody From Somewhere is Stevens debut solo country album, but it doesn’t take more than a few seconds to realise that no matter what genre Steven would choose to tackle, that there is no escaping that uniquely gravelly voice of his, which is showcased on the Blue’s Brother’s growl of The Good, The Bad, The Ugly and Me, and on the ‘closest thing to an Aerosmith power ballad’ on the album, Only Heaven.
In the fifteen songs on the album, there is a lot to take in. The opening song, My Own Worst Enemy is a villainous, accordion and guitar based drawl with a killer solo guitar licked outro, while the closing track is a Rock N Roll gospel cover of Janis Joplin’s Piece Of My Heart with The Loving Mary Band joining in. Steven also covers the stereotypical pop-country standards that you would usually expect to find on a country album these days, and really they are not that hard to find. The song you could imagine calling out to your lover in the pouring rain to? Check. That would be to the banjos, violins and perfectly matched harmonies of Love Is Your Name. The patriotic ‘We Love America’ anthem that bases itself within cheesy lines and catchy melodies, that are also partially there to represent the freedom and liberation you feel in your current relationship (usually with another American)? Check. That would be, RED, WHITE & YOU. And last but not least the, ‘we all have our roots that we need to remember’ track? Check. This is heard in the bluesy guitars, horns and boom clap of the title track, We’re All Somebody From Somewhere. It also is worthy to note that there is a reworked version of Janie’s Got A Gun on the album. Does it ruin the original? No. Does it top the original? Of course not.
When asked what makes a perfect country song, Stevens reply was the popular saying, “three chords and the truth”. We’re All Somebody From Somewhere was definitely a little more than just three chords and the truth, and while we may be used to a more calloused version of Steven than on this album, it still felt a little country and a little rock, never quite settling in one place. But then again, what else would you expect from a self-proclaimed “chance taker” like Steven Tyler?