Rating: 4 out of 10.
Joe Perry is back with his technically his eight solo album outside of Aerosmith. Sweetzerland Manifesto is far from the Joe Perry Project as it is from Aerosmith as it is entirely blues-based and quite frankly lame. Joe Perry’s effort falls short of what I thought he was still capable of. The guitar sound lacks the balls that Joe lost many years ago thus sounding like an old guy making old guy music. There are some riffs on the album that could achieve very good or even great status if he would let loose like it was 1977. Instead, Joe Perry records an album that tries to sound like traditional blues and comes out flat. The opener “Rumble in the Jungle” is an interesting instrumental that just misses the mark. “Aye, Aye, Aye” features vocals by Robin Zander who on the track for once sounds his age, which is not a good thing. Matters get worse on “I Wanna Roll” with an awful vocal effort by David Johansen. The song itself will put you to sleep, and Johansen’s vocals will make you skip to the next track, “Sick and Tired”, which is the highlight of the album with very good riffs, an enjoyable bridge and a lead with a little punch. Yet, despite this, and contributions by Johnny Depp, Joe Perry’s sons DJ Roman and Tony and production help from Jack Douglas, Sweetzerland Manifesto is an old guy’s recording, and that’s not a good thing. Terry Reid provides most of the vocal performances on the album and is only slightly better than Johansen. Robin Zander on all of the tracks would be a significant upgrade and after a listen you will beg for Steven Tyler.
There’s nothing wrong with playing the blues or blues-based rock, just listen to Living Colour play “Preachin’ Blues” or Delta Deep play “Mistreated”. Unfortunately, Joe Perry no longer has it in him to crank out something ground breaking and instead produces something that you could hear in any bar in Nashville or Austin.
This album review was written by Joe Becht. Follow him on Twitter @JoeBecht
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