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Review: "Blue and Lonesome"

by Anthony Panasiewiwcz
Tue, Feb 28th 2017 11:00 pm

One of the world's most timeless and famous bands has come out with a new album that has an equally as timeless sound. Much different from their original sound, The Rolling Stones looked to go not only back to their roots, but create a sound that would rival the Chicago Blues masters of old. 

Starting with one of the most classic rhythm and blues progressions, the 12-bar blues, Mick Jagger and crew create a seemingly simple but beautiful opening track in "Just Your Fool". 

One of the most notable features of this song and most others on "Blue and Lonesome" is Jagger's harmonica. Used as a complimentary piece by the Stones, the harmonica is central to not only blues-rock, but the unique sound the Stones created in this album. 

One of the most interesting songs on the album has to be "Everybody Knows About My Good Thing" and its inclusion of a slide guitar feature. This feature also happens to be played by one of the greatest guitar players of all time, Eric Clapton. A departure from traditional Chicago Blues with the slide guitar, Jagger, Clapton, Richards and the band most likely wanted to put their unique spin on the classic sounds they grew up with. 

Clapton also plays lead electric guitar on the album's last piece, "I Can't Quit You Baby". His solo is one of the highlights of the album.

While the album altogether is a wonderful work of art, I feel it isn't as perfect as it could be. One of these areas of imperfection is Jagger's singing on many of the songs. One example is in the very beginning of "I Can't Quit You Baby" where, for lack of a better phrase, Jagger hams and overperforms his vocals, which is most likely because they were in the heat of the moment and wanted to record the best take. Additionally, many instrumental parts seem to be done in one take or the session was recorded live and taken as is. 

This, while making the interactions between the musicians more genuine, left in missed notes, mediocre solos and exaggerated performances by Jagger. However, this also creates a better musical experience for the listener and makes everything the Rolling Stones were trying for so much more real. 

A fantastic album by some of the best musicians of all time, "Blue and Lonesome" deserves four-and-a-half stars out of five and is a must have for not only Rolling Stones fans but also general fans of blues.