THE first track from the Rolling Stones’ new album is competent, tuneful rock, but what about the rest of it? Here are some options for rating it when it’s finally released in full.
‘A bit like INXS’
The pristine pop-rock sound of the single Anger reminds you of something… INXS? It’s not ideal being compared to a long-forgotten Australian band, but New Sensation was alright, and Mick’s too old for all that auto-erotic asphyxiation malarky. He’d put his back out.
This should also be regarded as a positive take on the album, because where would we be without music that’s merely ‘okay’? A truly diverse array of artists – Genesis, Little Mix, The Farm, Fleetwood Mac in the 80s, Suede – would have been on the dole if people didn’t buy music that’s ‘okay’.
‘I liked the woman in the video’
The video for Anger wisely focuses on a hot rock chick, not the withered cadavers of Mick, Keith et al. This has got nothing to do with the quality of the album, but worse music, such as Alice Cooper’s Poison, has prospered thanks to tits.
‘Similar to the Rolling Stones’
Don’t expect to be blown away by an opening track like Gimme Shelter on Let It Bleed. However as one of the biggest bands of all time, just being a bit like the Stones is no small achievement, even if you are them already. Also, what will you be doing at their age? You’ll be wiped out by a particularly eventful episode of Doctors.
Ultimately the Stones may have produced a Chris Rea-style album of bland driving music for your dad to listen to in the car. This is bad news for Stones fans and music lovers, but great news for sales reps who want something to occupy their ears as their Ford Focus zooms toward a hellish trade fair at the NEC.
In other words, background music that’s not bad enough to be worth the hassle of drying your hands to switch the radio off. It’s a sad day when a Stones album is like listening to Fairground Attraction on Heart FM, but at least you’ve finally got all those dirty plates out of the way.
‘Not as bad as I expected’
The album could be very bad indeed, so manage your expectations in advance by listening to the Stones’ surprisingly numerous crap albums, such as 1986’s Dirty Work. The new album will definitely be better by comparison, although the same can be said about the Crazy Frog or Grandad by Clive Dunn.
Even the biggest fan of the Stones might be forced to accept that the album is total shit. And that is a very real risk. It wasn’t a Stones project, but Mick Jagger produced a true musical abomination back in 1987 with Let’s Work. Imagine a whole album of that. Don’t imagine too hard in case you involuntarily throw yourself under a bus.
Remember Liam’s band Beady Eye? (It’s okay to say ‘no’.) The fractionally more annoying Gallagher brother and other former members of Oasis knocked out some forgettable ersatz-Beatles pop tunes. So a shitter, more acoustic version of Oasis, basically. If the Stones’ album is this bad it’s time for a compulsory retirement age for rock stars. That would have spared us a lot of shit from McCartney too.