It’s been eleven years since The Rolling Stones released A Bigger Bang in 2005, so it’s safe to say that we have been waiting for them to drop a new album. Throughout their career, The Rolling Stones have taken blues inspiration and mixed it with their classic rock taste, but their newest studio album Blue and Lonesome takes this to a new level. The whole album is very blues and jazz inspired. This isn’t the album’s only interesting feature, as it made up entirely of cover songs. That might sound risky, but that doesn’t mean it’s necessarily bad.
They released the track ‘Ride ‘Em On Down’ a week before the album’s release, and I’ll be honest, it was a bit boring. Whilst it sets the tone for the album, it was uninspired in the way that the one riff and Jagger’s vocal line blend together. However it does show their appreciation for what they’re covering and the genre as a whole.
The album then opens with ‘Just Your Fool’, suffering from a very similar riff problem, but it incorporates rock motifs and a harmonica, which alludes to their own music, and what they’re attributing to. Again, it’s good, but not a strong opener. The only thing I can then say about ‘Commit a Crime’ is that there is the repeating riff problem again. Now the song the album is titled after, ‘Blue and Lonesome’, is a lot slower than the others and has repeating motifs working with harmonicas and guitar solos to create a unique track. The next notable track is ‘Everybody Knows about My Good Thing’’; the album now starts to use piano to really strengthen its tracks and Jagger’s voice surprisingly shows how it really suits this genre here.
If you came back to The Rolling Stones expecting some insane rock/blues/jazz mix of originality then this cover album will disappoint you. I’d recommend listening to it and picking out a few favourites if you’re fan of the genre they cover. It’s definitely not bad however, with some interesting use of the piano and harmonica but suffers from AC/DC riff syndrome, just using the same riff throughout whole songs. Except AC/DC’s are memorable. It’s not the comeback Rolling Stones album we’ve all been waiting for, but it’s some good blues music.
Image: The Rolling Stones