Around this time of the year, Aerosmith could have comfortably released another greatest hits album. Instead, "Rockin' the Joint" offers an unadulterated slice of live rock'n'roll, refreshingly raw an

Around this time of the year, Aerosmith could have comfortably released another greatest hits album. Instead, "Rockin' the Joint" offers an unadulterated slice of live rock'n'roll, refreshingly raw and glitzless.

Recorded at a smallish Las Vegas venue during Aerosmith's 2002 tour, the set seamlessly fuses vintage blues rockers from the '70s with newer material. From the hard-hitting opener "Beyond Beautiful" to the closing "Train Kept a Rollin,'" this disc captures the band's pure live energy with a blasting crispness.

The set of 11 songs, which includes "Same Old Song and Dance," "Walk This Way" and an unhinged version of the Fleetwod Mac classic "Rattlesnake Shake," is so high-amped that the MTV ballad "I Don't Want To Miss a Thing" actually comes off as a welcome decelaration. But the high point is an entrancing rendition of the rarely played "Seasons of Wither," which conjures a timeless grunge vibe. - Sven Philipp

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