Sunday, September 18, 2005

Review: Rolling Stones - A Bigger Bang

Label: Virgin
Released: September 6, 2005

Here's the thing about the Rolling Stones, they've become the world's greatest Stones cover band. I'm not going to spend any time with the specifics of the music here, I'm going to focus on the feel of the album. It's second-rate Exile-era Stones material. If you liked the Stones in the early 70s, you'll probably like A Bigger Bang too. However, while it's a perfectly good rock record, it lacks the adventure and spontenaity of the Stones early work when they were defining themselves as a band. Now, I understand that they aren't going to constantly re-invent themselves and that's fine. But what's so pathetic is that they write and play these songs as if nothing has changed in 30+ years. Personal growth will feed musical growth, yet Mick still sings lines like, "
And once upon a time I was your little rooster/Am I just one of your cocks?" Wow, what a clever double entendre. Is that really from the same guy who, a few short years ago, gave us Goddess in the Doorway? Unfortunately, yes. Actually thinking about the Stones' two decent albums of the last 25 years, A Bigger Bang and Voodoo Lounge, versus Mick's Goddess in the Doorway and Keith's Main Offender makes something very clear about the band (or rather its members): The best they have to offer isn't when they work together. I think there's a very simple explanation for this too. As solo artists, Mick and Keith put who they are that time into the songs, but as a band they're too busy being who they were a long time ago. A Bigger Bang might be a good album if it weren't such a fraud. Hey guys, we all know you did Exile and Sticky Fingers. You don't have to remind us. But who are you now? Just a bunch of old guys pretending that they still matter.

Rating: 5/10

Monday, September 05, 2005

Bob Weir Quote

Speaking about one of his pre-Dead bands, Mother McCree's Uptown Jug Champions, Weir said, "Playing in the jug band, I learned a healthy respect for the roots of music. You honor the roots of music, and you're tapping into a vein - there's juice in there." I agree. It's not just what made the Dead a great band (and like them or not, they were great), but what makes any band great.