From the first chord of 'Just Your Fool'. You know two things. This is a sound inspired by deep south New Orleans roots, Chuck Berry esque baseline and a dash of Led Zeppelin's 'When the Levee Breaks'. You also know, you would be a fool not to keep listening. This style wouldn't have seemed right on the Stones forty or thirty years ago, the feeling behind it needs experience, weathering to fit the mood. After all, the blues were often about a life of hardship and strife, making do the best you could and that takes a certain amount of life experience to appreciate.
Track three, 'Blue And Lonesome', gives the album it's name; and is very deserving of that accolade. Giving a slower pace than the first two songs, this is powerful seductive piece, featuring some complex bass solo work, the musical equivalent of strutting down the street, and even more evocative harmonica sections. You can just imagine yourself sitting outside of a speak easy drinking whisky and playing a round of cards. Jagger's vocals are on point with the longer notes held well and a solid range, giving the piece an almost angry and dangerous vibe.
Contrasting to the previous track, 'All Of Your Love' has a more relaxed jazz style, interspersed with traditional light piano and of course harmonica solos again (played by Jagger). This is the kind of music you can imagine playing in a dive bar from a live band with a smokey atmosphere.
The blues continues unabashed with 'Hate to See You Go', featuring Little Walter, and its funky upbeat tempo, pulled together by a breathy sound from Mick. This is what great driving music is made of, cruising down the highway with the wind in your hair. The album ends with 'I Can't Quit You Baby', with contributions from Willie Dixon and a slower soulful tempo.
There is no mistaking this album. It is all archetypical blues and rock; with a perfect grittiness that takes decades of experience to produce,e evoking the sound of the 60's. Blue and Lonesome is easy listening, even for just casual fans, invoking memories of traditional Stone's music. Recorded over a single weekend, this latest album truly demonstrates the unmatched quality of the Rolling Stones. They almost make it seem easy. Almost. A reflection on their lives, offering hedonistic advice the Delphi Oracle of rock n' roll.
An excellent addition to anyone's collection, this is a labour of love and has been an immediate hit with well over a million sales in the first month of release alone. Joyful fan service; bringing an amazing range of different moods, juxtaposed with a skill only the Stone's could manage.