09 September 2005

mark caro writes a great piece in the chicago tribune about critical reception to new rolling stones' albums. yes, it's v. amusing to watch rock critics stress how this really is a great stones album. some will say "it's their best work since ___"; others "this is not just a great stones album, this is a great album period." alan light, in the rolling stone review, seems to combine both strains:
Let's just get this out of the way: A Bigger Bang isn't a good Rolling Stones album considering their age. It isn't a good Rolling Stones album compared to their recent work. No, A Bigger Bang is just a straight-up, damn fine Rolling Stones album, with no qualifiers or apologies necessary for the first time in a few decades.
critics will disown every album since tattoo you, but why caro's piece is really worth reading is b/c he goes into the vaults and dredges up what they said at the initial time of release of those albums (and, really, none of those albums, dirty work notwithstanding, goes below the proverbail three-and-a-half stars level. recently, a big deal has been made over kanye west getting five stars from rolling stone; remember, though, that this is a magazine that gave five stars to mick jagger's goddess in the doorway. one awaits his next solo album just so we can hear them disavow that!)

me, i've heard the album and i've heard it all before. i'll say this, though: "rough justice" is their best single since ... "don't stop" (from forty licks, and, honestly, a really nice song). it's like "mixed emotions" meets the guitar lick from belle & sebastian's "legal man." (someone's been paying attention!) the mix is shit, though, and i blame that on don was (cleaning up your favorite artists since brian wilson!) all of the best stones songs have mick's vocals in the background. i don't want to know that mick is saying "cocks"--and i don't--i want to have to say, "hey! did he just say 'cocks'?" (censored, as you might imagine, on last nights' nfl kickoff show.)

speaking of codgers, the new macca single is--and this isn't critspeak--his best single in years, at least since ... when did "say say say" come out? why is this the case? nigel godrich? no. it's that paul has succumbed to the pressure and decided to reveal to the world that, for all these years, he's lived a double life. he's not dead; he's not the walrus; he's jeff lynne. tell me those keybs and strings aren't straight off a vintage e.l.o. record! it's like "mr. blue sky"--which was like "a day in the life." if you disagree, answer me this: why else would jeff lynne always wear sunglasses and a beard and a bad wig?


No comments: