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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Joe Perry – Sweetzerland Manifesto


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4 thoughts on “Album Review: Sweetzerland Manifesto by Joe Perry

  1. Giving it a 4 is being kind. Nothing on this album sticks out to me, it’s half-ass, homogenized, stale, blues. I get it, his previous outings were not received well because he tried to update his sound a bit, but this is him trying to record blues with modern sonics, and it doesn’t work. Living Colour was able to pull it off because they weren’t shooting for radio play, something it seems Joe is trying to do. There is only so many times you can go back to the well, and Train Kept A Rollin was not only a cover, but the best blues track he’s ever recorded, and isn’t what most people remember or want to hear from him. The last great track that featured Joe was Walk On Down off of Get A Grip. It’s got the hard rock swagger we all love by him, and fits right in with a lot of the 70s output by the band. Another guy that would benefit from getting in a room with someone like an Andy Sneap who isn’t going to yes him to death, and make him examine his playing. He’s proving a lot of Whitford fans right, with them saying that Brad has been carrying Aerosmith for a long time now.

  2. Victor,

    Great points. I gave it a four because I enjoy the vibe of “Sick and Tired”, which by the way describes the rest of the album. I also think it would sound a lot better with better vocals but if someone where to give this a 3,2 or 1 I couldn’t argue.

  3. On the first listen, but my initial thought is “what the heck is this crap?”

    I liked the song “Won’t let me go” except for being nearly ruined by the random background noises. The way these songs were produced is, just bizarre and wrong. I will give it another chance on a better sound system, but I don’t anticipate much changing.

    Whitford / St. Holmes Reunion was a much better effort.

    Every Joe Perry solo album just gets worse.

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