The Rolling Stones
Despite its ungainly launch (glitchy website; vacuous Jimmy Fallon junket), The Rolling Stones first album of originals since 2005’s A Bigger Bang houses far more jewels than paste. The dove-tailing guitars on Get Close, Keef’s instinct-led ballad Tell Me Straight and the Exile On Main Street-ish country honk of Dreamy Skies are 24-carat Stones, while producer Andrew Watt (who wore a different Stones T-shirt to each session) proves an able facilitator/cheerleader on Sweet Sounds Of Heaven, wherein Stevie Wonder and Lady Gaga aid majestic gospel vibes. Elton John tickles ivories, Paul McCartney plays fuzz bass on Bit My Head Off, Bill Wyman re-teams with Charlie Watts on Live By The Sword (one of two posthumous Charlie appearances), and Mick and Keef close out proceedings with an earthy take on Muddy Waters’ Rollin’ Stone. Hackney Diamonds feels like a self-aware, historically mindful party, Jagger’s remarkable vocal thrust utterly unimpaired.
Hackney Diamonds is out October 20th via Universal.
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