“Blue and Lonesome” is a Unremarkable, Indistinctive and Unexciting

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Russell Glass, Assistant Website Editor

52 years. That’s how long The Rolling Stones have been pumping out rock n roll music.

Well, sort of.

The legendary group that, depending on how you count has had anywhere between five and 14 different member over the past five decades and is perhaps best known for their hits such as “Sympathy for the Devil”, “Gimme Shelter” and “Paint it Black” has produced a blues album in the waning weeks of 2016. And boy is it different.

If I were to describe “Blue and Lonesome” using only the titles of the tracks it’s composed of I would say that: Mick Jagger struck out on this one and is “Just a Fool” for thinking that he and the boys still had it in them. It by no means deserves “All of Your Love” and at certain points while listening I felt as if Jagger and Richards had “Committ a Crime” in producing something so unlike their top hits. And upon completing the album, I felt, well….”Blue and Lonesome.”

My problem with the album is not that it is objectively atrocious or induces feelings akin to those I get when thinking about Donald Trump being the president of The United States; my problem with “Blue and Lonesome” is that it’s forgettable.  

The tunes repetitive, the lyrics bland and the songs indistinguishable from one another.

If I had not known that the Stones had released a new album and had heard one of the tracks on the radio I would not have known that it was their work. And more than that, I wouldn’t have been able to tell it from any other blues artist out there. “Blue and Lonesome” sounds like everything else that’s out there in the blues world.

The group that has had so much going for them because of their distinctive sound has produced possibly one of the most unextraordinary albums of the century.

Granted Keith Richards can still jam, Charlie Watts can still drum, and whomever taught Mick Jagger to play the harmonica deserves a medal. But where’s the emotion? Where’s the excitement? Where’s the ‘satisfaction’?

Just because three guys can still do what they’ve been doing for the past 50 years doesn’t mean what they collaboratively produce is going to be good. And “Blue and Lonesome” appears to be the work of a group who is out of touch with society.

Maybe the group should leave the music production from the industry’s silver foxes to the two remaining Beatles. They’ve always done it better anyway.