The Rolling Stones may be the greatest rock and roll band ever, but that's a historical point. They haven't made a record worthy of their name since 1978. That's a long time back.
In short, this album sucks. A Bigger Bang does not have even one worthwhile song. Most specifically, there's not one interesting melody anywhere on this album. Nor for that matter are the lyrics of any significant interest, but maybe I'm missing something because the crappy excuses for tunes aren't pulling me in to bother paying close attention to those lyrics.
It doesn't even work to try lowering the bar. One of their more recent crappy latter day albums had a mediocre hit called "Mixed Emotions." It wasn't much, but it more or less had a hook. I could hum back a line or two at least, not that I'd particularly want to. There's nothing on A Bigger Bang even up to that mediocrity.
The best song here is probably the much anticipated "Sweet Neo Con." It's a crappy excuse for a song, but the dumb lyric perhaps rises to the level of being mildly annoying- which is more than can be said for the rest of it. For starters, there's no significant tune to this thing. It's one of the most completely generic blues songs in their catalog.
Plus, the lyric amounts to a pathetic attempt at being hip or controversial. It lacks any real passion or feeling. It certainly lacks anything specific, unique or original. There are no striking images, or particular complaints. Listening to this, it doesn't sound like Mick Jagger has any particularly strong feelings about W one way or another. He's just looking for something to suck up to the cool crowd, stir up a little contrived "controversy."
There's just not much to say about any of the rest of this. It barely rises to the level of mediocrity.
Looking for something, anything good to say about this nothingness, you might praise the general sound of the arrangements. That is, the crappy songs are better recorded than some of their other latter day crap. Steel Wheels, say, sounded stiff as a corpse in January. The playing here is rather more fluid. They sound more like a real band playing songs.
But if you're just jonesin' for that Charlie Watts beat and that Stones mesh of guitars, you could just as easily listen to a good Stones album. Exile on Main Street is still in print, and you probably already have it in your collection without having to spend more money. A great old album is far better than a worthless new one.
If, however, you just cannot stand to listen to Sticky Fingers for the 1,385th time, there are other good guitar rock bands of more recent vintage. How about some White Stripes? "Hello Operator" would do you FAR more good than this album. If you can't listen to Their Satanic Majesties Request anymore, how about Get Behind Me Satan?
Look, it's okay that they've run out of gas. After all, they made Let It Bleed and Some Girls if they never make another record. But if they can't come up with something a LOT better than this, they should let it go. All they're doing is watering down their catalog and their legacy with one more sorry excuse for an album
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