A line on the Top-20 hit “Livin’ On The Edge” condemns racial prejudice. “Amazing” refers to life as a journey and describes a sort of conversion experience (“With the blink of an eye, you finally see the light . . . I’m sayin’ a prayer for the desperate hearts tonight”).
Aerosmith glorifies alcohol and drug use throughout, denouncing crack only because the “buzz” doesn’t last long enough (“Fever”). Expressing animosity for the upper class, “Eat the Rich” serves up the affluent on a hostile platter (though wealth obtained by screaming to guitar riffs must be acceptable). Cheap, quick sex without marital boundaries is encouraged in the despair-driven “Shut Up and Dance.” “Flesh” is a celebration of raging hormones (“since Eve did Adam . . . everybody gotta have FLESH”), while “Fever” reduces women to objects of lust (“I’d rather be O.D.in’ on the crack of her a-“).
This adrenalized number-1 debut is album number seventeen in the band’s 20-year history. Mixed messages peppered with obscenity make this one seem at home on the group’s hedonistic resumé. But it has no place in discerning homes.