The Rolling Stones: Blues & Lonesome

22 Feb

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Over a decade after their last album A Bigger Bang, the Rolling Stones return with Blues & Lonesome, a rip-roaring trip into the past. 

Perhaps taking a cue from Keith Richards’ new solo project Cross-Eyed Heart, this a lean, mean record that gets in, does the job and gets out. In fact, the album it most resembles is Talk Is Cheap, if Keith had brought the rest of the band along.

It helps that the material is so strong. A collection of old blues covers, this Blues & Lonesome brings the Stones back to their roots, and it’s the most fresh and alive they’ve sounded in years.

The album opens with the stomp of ‘Just Your Fool’. The scuzzy garage rock-style production is rough but clean, adding that extra dollop of grit to proceedings. The gritty high-energy continues the entire set: the tight strut of ‘Commit A Crime’, the slow-burn lament of the title track, the storming ‘Ride ‘Em On Down’ and almost jaunty ‘Hate To See You Go’ show there is plenty of gas left in the tank for the veteran rockers.

More than just a covers album, Blues & Lonesome shows the Rolling Stones can still kick out the jams when they want to. Hopefully they don’t take another decade to put out their next album.

 

By Tim George

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