Thursday, May 18, 2006

A Bigger Bang--Jon Aristides, Sept. 7, 2005

Forty years ago, when the Stones were at their peak, I was unconscious about most of my surroundings, sucking on my mother's breasts: George W. Bush was probably occupied with his first experience on cannabis (or getting into trouble for drunken driving?). Surely, he was a long way from becoming the man who the Stones were eventually to write the song "Sweet Neo Con" about ("Call yourself a Christian...You're just a crock of s*hit"). It's quite amazing that the personal and song writing partnership of Mick Jagger and Keith Richards has lasted so long! And now, here they are, once again, with a new album and world tour.

We are used to the Stones breaking all known records for touring, but their recent albums have left a lot to be desired. The last three studio albums, to my ear, have seemed like blues influenced heavy metal--and I certainly don't mean that in any complimentary way. The blues rock with which they made their name seemed to have disappeared for good. Goodbye to "Aftermath", "Beggars Banquet", "Let It Bleed", "Sticky Fingers" and "Exile On Main Street" forever! But it ain't true! "A Bigger Bang" is a great Stones album, in their classic blues rock mode. Not every one of the 16 tracks is a masterpiece, but there are no clear duds (unlike other recent Stones' albums) and they keep close to their classic, blues based, intermeshing guitar rock sound, throughout. The rhythm section of Keith and Charlie Watts is particularly strong on this recording and MJ sounds more or less the same as he did forty years ago, as a twenty two year old stripling. As USA Today put it in their recent review, "if this album is not exactly another Exile On Main Street, at least it's recognizably in the same zip code!"

Stand out tracks are the dirty blues sounding "Rough Justice", "Back Of My Hand", and "Infamy" ("you got it in fer me"--Keith on lead vocals). "Streets of Love" is a better than usual Mick inspired ballad and "She Saw Me Coming", is the best track of the lot with it's pounding country honk rhythms and Mick's ironic vocals..."She saw me coming...she had me on the ropes...She saw me coming...she took me for a dope". All in all, it's great value with a running time of well over an hour and I'd happily give it a score of 9 out of 10.

Wonder what Geoge Bush will be doing with himself in four years? These guys will probably just be setting out on another world tour!

*Originally published on


Blogger pluto85 said...

Love the Sones

12:47 PM  
Blogger Jon Aristides said...

And this album is great, Pluto.

12:54 PM  
Blogger pluto85 said...

Must buy it!

1:27 PM  

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