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Rolling Stone Reviews

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Last Updated: 02 July 2021

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T he coronavirus outbreak is clearly going to inform a lot of rock and pop music in the not - too - distant future, but who would have thought that the Rolling Stones would be early to market with Covid - 19 - theme song? After all, Jagger and Richards songwriting partnership is not inclined to over - exert itself in its autumn years. It is eight years since the Stones released original song - the same length of time that elapsed between the appearance of their debut single and the arrival of Sticky Fingers - and 15 since their last album of new material, Bigger Bang. Packing stadiums has long been Stones raison detre and they are clearly aware they do need new songs to do that. On their most recent tour - which began in 2017 and would still be on course were it not for the coronavirus pandemic - the most up - to - minute addition to their setlist was 25 years old, which did stop its European leg grossing an eye - watering $237m. Moreover, their last studio album, Blue and Lonesome, consisted solely of old blues and R & B covers and was, by some considerable extent, their best - received in decades. You might be forgiven for assuming that Rolling Stones would never again release an album of new songs, and not least because Blue and Lonesome had pleasing circularity to it, returning them to where they begin: cranking out Willie Dixon and Jimmy Reed numbers. Or perhaps not. Living in Ghost Town was apparently the product of recent recording sessions. By Jaggers ' account, lyrics were already eerily prescient - about being in a place which was full of life, and then now bereft of life. Full of plague terms - but were reworked to suit the current moment. They are certainly far better attempt at coming up with something contemporary and newsy than Bigger Bangs ' clumsy Sweet Neo - Con or indeed Jaggers Skepta - assist solo single England lose. Music, meanwhile, feels appealingly sleazy, as befits song in which Mick Jagger complains, very Jaggerishly, that social distancing is preventing him from having as much sex as hed like. It is also burnished by an intriguing sense of vaguely dub - influenced space. At one point, it broke down to little more than stabbing, echoing organ with a vintage reggae flavour. Elsewhere, you can hear the faint echo of Blue and Lonesome sound in thin layer of distortion that covers Jaggers harmonica and vocal. As evidence by his performance of You Cant Always Get What You Want at One World: Together At Home livestreamed concert, his voice - with Keith Richards and Ronnie Woods guitars weaving around him - seems immune to the kind of ravages you might expect to have been visit on 76 - year - old singer. Latterday Stones albums have been marred by a sense of being overworked - not least Bridges to Babylon, with its tortuous gestation and plethora of producers. But here, as on Blue and Lonesome, knocked off in three days, working at speed seems to have had a beneficial effect on music: Jagger say he wrote it in 10 minutes.

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* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions

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