Rolling Stone (3/20/97, pp.83-84) - 3 Stars (out of 5) - "...Aerosmith can be relied on to temper their...machismo with plenty of humor, heart and artistic ingenuity..."
Q (4/97, p.117) - 4 Stars (out of 5) - "...something of a grand opus....orchestrations galore....with this general riot of itchy solos, raucous innuendo, violent rhythm-pistons and smeared-on harmonies, Aerosmith haven't fallen far short of the mighty PUMP."
Aerosmith: Steven Tyler (vocals, hammered dulcimer, harmonica, piano, hand organ, keyboards, percussion); Brad Whitford (acoustic guitar, guitar); Joe Perry (guitar, slide guitar, dulcimer, background vocals); Tom Hamilton (bass, Chapman stick); Joey Kramer (drums).
Additional personnel includes: Ramesh Mishra (sarengi); John Webster (keyboards).
Principally recorded at Avatar Studios, New York, New York.
NINE LIVES was nominated for a 1998 Grammy Award for Best Rock Album. "Falling In Love (Is Hard On The Knees)" was nominated for a 1998 Grammy for Best Rock Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal.
"Pink" won the 1999 Grammy Award for Best Rock Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal and was nominated for Best Short Form Music Video.
NINE LIVES marks Aerosmith's return to Columbia Records, the label for which it had its first round of stardom in the 1970s, and the label with which the band nearly slid off the rock and roll map altogether in the 1980s. Columbia shelled out a lot of money to woo back the now-bigger-than-ever band, and ends up getting exactly the kind of over-the-top pop-rock it was paying for. Working with producer Kevin Shirley (Silverchair, Journey), the seemingly ageless combo from Boston has made another record overflowing with sexual innuendo ("Pink", "Falling In Love [Is Hard On The Knees]"), power ballads ("Fallen Angels," "Hole In My Soul") and hard-hitting riffs ("Nine Lives," "Crash").
Continuing its recent fascination with sounds alien to hard rock (didja notice the Polynesian log drums on 1993's GET A GRIP?), Aerosmith dabbles with Indian culture on NINE LIVES. You can see it in the colorful packaging of the album, and hear it on "Taste Of India," which picks up where Led Zeppelin's classic "Kashmir" left off. The culturally confused epic features qawwali-esque vocalizing (a la Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan), a sarangi (an Indian fiddle) and, of course, some old-fashioned rock and roll.
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- Piano Tribute to Aerosmith (Various Artists)