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The Rolling Stones crappy excuse for A Bigger Bang

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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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  • http://home.comcast.net/~proy1/ Paul Roy

    Interesting review. Until now all the reviews I have read have been positively glowing. I haven’t heard it yet so I can’t really comment.

  • http://wisdomandmurder.blogspot.com Lisa McKay

    Interesting review, Al. I finally picked up a copy of this last week and have been listening to it on my rides to and from work almost non-stop. I’m surprised at how good it is (and I’m a Stones fan from *way* back when) – I was almost a little afraid to give it a listen, because I was firmly in the camp that believed they hadn’t done anything worthwhile in ever so long – and I have to say I like it more every time I listen to it. They sound better than they have in a long time, and better than they should, given that they’re all older than dirt.

  • http://wisdomandmurder.blogspot.com Lisa McKay

    Oh, and I forgot to say that I think “Sweet Neo Con” is the least interesting song on the whole album.

  • http://www.markiscranky.org Mark Saleski

    who’s ears are you going to trust? al barger’s? a man who hasn’t found anything new he likes to listen to since a prince record he picked up at ball state?

    or me?

  • http://stolenpony.blogspot.com Jones Violet

    Al’s just jealous that he can’t get on stage and rock it like Mick in tight leather pants.

  • http://www.morethings.com/log Al Barger

    Mr Saleski, was there supposed to be a link to a positive review from you in that comment 4?

    And of all the places to bitch about me supposedly not liking anything new, a review of a Rolling Bones album.

  • http://www.markiscranky.org Mark Saleski

    oops, yea….for my review click here

  • http://www.modernpeapod.com Zach

    It’s sort of refreshing to see such a negative review of this record, seeing as most critics are willing to accept anything that sounds remotely like the classic Stones as manna from heaven. I still think you’re giving it short shrift, though…”Rough Justice” may or may not be the product of a Viagra buzz, but at least it rocks more convincingly than just about anything we’ve heard from the “boys” in the last few decades.

    I do think it’s interesting, though, how the album has been marketed as a sort of spiritual return to the Sticky Fingers/Exile era. For me, it sounds a hell of a lot more like the mediocre mid-’70s stuff: a few gems, a few generic blues cuts, a ton of filler. “Sweet Neo Con” even sounds a little like their Black & Blue-era “reggae” stuff…and “Rain Fall Down” IS the Disco Stones reincarnated. I think if you listen to the album in that spirit, it’s a much more rewarding experience.

    And yeah, the Stripes kick the shit out of latter-day Stones.

  • MT

    Look, whadda you expect? If they’re not smoking spliffs in Jamaica, or swimming in their pools in Italy, or eating room serviced filet mignons in Paris, they’re probably taking botox shots and bedding down beautiful Brazilian babes in Rio. They are the Rolling Stones! They’ve earned it. It doesn’t matter whether this CD is good, bad or indifferent. They are the Rolling Stones! And we love them. Well, I do, anyway. Why? Because they are the Rolling Stones and, I doubt, as old and decrepit as they might be today after 40 years in the eye of the rock and roll hurricane, that there are many bands today that are any better than our Rolling Stones! C’mon, Al, show a little love.

  • http://www.morethings.com/log Al Barger

    Oh MT, gotta lotta love for the Stones- but this new album just ain’t gettin’ it.

  • Mark

    Poorly written review of a mediocre CD. I’ve heard the entire CD and find it OK. Not terrible as suggested, but not great as others have suggested. Buy it if you want, but don’t want. There’s so much better out there.

  • david bowey

    i think the new stones album a bigger bang is pretty good it sounds like albums they recorded in the early 70s

  • samuelj

    look, the stones are the best namd of all time, ALL their albums are amazing! a bigger bang rocks! i think you should stop listening to crap music or get a hearing aid~!

  • http://www.morethings.com/log Al Barger

    Samuel, I appreciate your point of loyalty to a great band, but it’s misplaced when you use it to talk yourself into praising this garbage. No, not ALL their albums are great – there’s almost no one about whom you could say that. Further, if you go around saying that THIS is a great album, that might lead one to be suspect of your critical judgment. If you think this crappy album is great, are you really getting what they were doing back when they really were great? Can you tell the difference?