A Bigger Bang
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A Bigger Bang is the Rolling Stones first studio album since Bridges to Babylon eight years ago. It features the single "Streets of Love", the controversial "Sweet Neo Con", and the already classic blues track, "Back of My Hand".
A Bigger Bang--the Rolling Stones' 25th studio album--begins exactly how Rolling Stones albums ought to begin, with the testosterone calling-card explosion of "Rough Justice"; a ribald, licentious rocker with Sir Mick getting bawdy and with Keith Richard's infernal bottleneck guitar sliding around like an aroused python on an oil slick. Sigmund Freud would have had a field day.
Venerable rock aristocrats they may be but beneath the wrinkles and erudition throbs the passion of reckless, raffish young dandies whose loins cannot be encumbered by codpieces. It's to the Stones credit that (knighthoods aside) they can still sound like the sort of chaps you wouldn't want hanging around your daughter. Jagger sounds fantastic; tawdry, bitchy and condescending on stompers like "Look What The Cat Dragged In" and like a dumped mug on the jilted love tale of "She Saw Me Coming".
At sixteen tracks the album is long and not entirely without its shortcomings--"Sweet Neo Con" won't have George W Bush choking on any pretzels and "Driving Too Fast" sounds like a cross between "Jumping Jack Flash" and a lecture in road safety. But there are strong ballads ("Streets of Love") vintage malt blues ("Back of My Hand") and even Keith resurrecting one of Kenneth William's finest wordplays on "Infamy". Best Stones album in yonks? Quite possibly so. --Kevin Maidment
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Top Customer Reviews
Favourite tracks? Most but especially The rocking opener "Rough Justice" which must be the greatest curtain opener since Jumping Jack Flash, "Rainfalldown" one of the funkiest grooves ever made by the band and destined to be a firm favourite for danceclubs. "Back of my hand" is the blues track of the year, and really a tribute to all the blues masters past, wonderful slide guitar and great harmonica intersperces Micks wailful singing. "Sweet NeoCon" is a welcome and spirited jibe at the hypcrisy of the present incumbants of the Whitehouse, The penultimate track "Driving to fast" is another heavy rocker full of energy built around a powerful rythm section of Charlie Watts Darryl Jones and the chunky guitar of Keith and Ronnie. If there is a flat moment it is Keiths two tracks not bad but not essential.
The quality of musicianship is superb throughout the album, that is the Stones though they blend together and compliment each other incredibly well, this is the Stones after 44 odd years, still making the best rock music around. Long Live The Rolling Stones. Go buy this album.
The release of a Stones album used to be an event, and in the heydey of the seventies there were always cries of "it's not as good as the last one". But who wants every album to sound the same? The production on this album reminds me of "Exile on Main Street", which went from very mixed reviews on it's release to an acknowledged classic today. The Stones do what they do and your're either a fan or you're not.
Why is it that these over-60 grandpas still would get us out of our chairs? First off, it's just them & their bare essentials. Mick & Keith teamed up again as songwriters, for the first time since god knows when, and in the process they decided to just keep it down to the 4 of them, plus an occasional hand by Chuck Leavell or Don Was. What a relief to hear those Mick & Keith induced backing vox, what happiness to hear an off-booze Ron Wood playing the slide as sharply as he did back when the Faces cut "Stay With Me", what joy to hear Charlie's Metronome Monsterbeat cut right through the Two Guitar Terror of Sheik El Keith & Slide King Ronnie - and a big thumbs up to Darryl Jones for being as functional as Bill Wyman ever was.
But that's not all: there's a handful of classics here that meet up with the Jumping Jacks and the Brown Sugars of this world. Streets of Love is the ballad we've been craving for, Rough Justice is a faraway tip of the hat to Rocks Off, and more than once the tunes lead you back to Exile on Main St. Keith's lead vocal songs, for one, keep it down to good hooks & catchy riffs: Happy! Jagger displays a self irony in his lyrics which is refreshing, funny and moving at times. And quite frankly, it all rocks like there's no tomorrow.
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