It seems like an annual tradition is brewing, here at the Paterson Classic Rock Music column. In 2012, in honor of Aerosmith's guitarist Joe Perry, an article was written about his most recent solo album, entitled Have Guitar, Will Travel. The idea must have been a good one (or September is just a slow month for classic rock), because the thought was brought up again to talk about Joe Perry's solo work. This time, let's take a closer look at the guitarist's self-titled record (quite literally a solo project, as Perry plays 90% of the tracks himself), released on May 3, 2005 and hitting #110 on the Billboard charts.
As mentioned before, Perry performs almost everything himself-guitars, keyboards, bass, and vocals (except the synth part on 'Ten Years', since it's performed by Chris Noise). The only instrument he doesn't touch is the drum set, which he leaves in the reliable hands of his producer, Paul Caruso. While most of the album is straight-on rock (which shouldn't disappoint die-hard Perry or Aerosmith fans), he does dip into psychedelia at times, most prevalent on 'Pray for Me' and 'Crystal Ship', a cover of the Doors' classic, and also Southern blues rock on 'Vigilante Man,' written by Woody Guthrie.
Unfortunately, the main drawback to the album is the vocals. Perry does his best, even channeling a little Jim Morrison at times, but the vocals do diminish the quality of the tracks. Joe Satriani and John Paul Jones have both made excellent instrumental rock solo albums, and that's probably something that Perry should have considered. It's clear he misses Steven Tyler. Still, the album is worth the listen for any fan of Aerosmith, as Perry's guitar work is clearly the forefront and does not disappoint at all.