“The Strolling Bones – combined aged of 245!” Haw haw, aren’t those tabloids funny? But why bother taking the Mick out of Jagger and co for their age when there are much more amusing things about them?
How laughably poor their music has become, for example. “Rain Fall Down” has a few bars worth of guitar groove, and a flatline melody repeated ad nauseam. One would hope that a band of The Stones’ calibre, after seven years away from the studio, could come up with something better than what sounds like a cast-off from cod-funksters Average White Band. The chorus, meanwhile, is as memorable as Mick Jagger’s acting career – and you just try to name one of his films after Performance. But is this typical of the old men who now make up a once cutting edge band?
Maybe not: the album from which this song is taken, last year’s A Bigger Bang, proves that they can still cut it lyrically. Songs like “Sweet Neo Con” provide scathing political criticism and commentary that many younger musicians could do with listening to. It comes as something of a surprise, therefore, to hear that this single’s lyrics amount to nothing but a cringeworthy tale of kiss and tell woe:
It was all the usual crap \ All the usual sleaze \ For two thousand quid \ Some bimbo spilled the beans, yeah.
So “Rain Fall Down” isn’t the product of old age – just that of one bad day in the studio. But let’s be thankful it clocks in at only four minutes. Any longer, and Keith Richards wouldn’t be the only one reaching for illicit substances.