RATING: 4 / 5
Ah, The Rolling Stones
. If you thought they were finishing up their career, think again. Back and surely better than ever, the Stones have once again grounded our confidence in their ability to produce quality music. They may be older but they definitely prove that they are still in the game. It shouldn't be a surprise whatsoever that the Stones can play the blues so well. It is, after all, their roots. Re-energized and ready to roll, the Stones present their voice with raw stripped-down covers that pay tribute to the Chicago blues that had inspired their formation and name of the band in the first place.
Their 23rd studio LP (their latest studio album in more than decade), took a total of three days to record without overdubs in a London studio. But considering how quickly they've recorded their music, they ended up producing amazing content that showed not only their transparent talent but the honesty and truth in their music. Personally, I think it would've been impossible for them to accomplish this album 30 or 40 years ago. But despite their growing age, they show that a few lines and wrinkles were definitely necessary to pull this album off. Blue & Lonesome
may be one of their most honest works yet and the 12-piece track ultimately shows their undying passion for what they stand for and who they are about. From Howlin' Wolf ("Commit a Crime") to Magic Sam ("All of Your Love") and the like, the Stones bash out an album that really hits their sweet spots - for them and their listeners.
It's needless to say that Mick Jagger is the main attraction as he ultimately shows that at 73 years old, he's still got it (that and the fact that he's going to be having an eighth child). Jagger's fiery vocals flow fluidly through each track while blues-y piano and guitar solos accompany each song, giving off a comfortable (and ageless) rock n' roll vibe. In fact, the album itself shows that the Stones have been in their most comfortable state yet as they take on each cover with ease and expert talent. They truly sound revitalized as they head back towards the basics of the blues. Some highlights include "All of Your Love" and "Ride 'Em On Down" where heavy grooves and fiery guitar solos make their debut - all thanks to Keith Richards and Ronnie Wood. "Just Your Fool" and "Commit a Crime" evoke the Stones' classic style and rhythm, with Jagger passionately playing the harmonica. The Stones' intention seems to be texture as they flow through each track with their impressive lyrical content and rhythm.
Some people may argue that the Stones are way too old for this, that this album was their last dying breath for fame. But I disagree. Blue & Lonesome
shows their honest and true selves. The album itself again is a return to the basics and adhering to tradition. But yet with revitalizing energy, they prove their comfortableness and ease in producing electrifying and ear-catching sounds. And all there is to it is the band sitting in a room playing together and enjoying each other's company. Blue & Lonesome
offers proof that the Rolling Stones still have the capability to produce amazing sounds. But will this be their last album?