When it comes to bands like The Rolling Stones and all those legendary bands that started it all, I usually tend not to write reviews of their new albums. First of all, who am I to tell you if this is good or not, especially considering that I was born somewhere in between their 18th and 19th album? It kind of feels weird to me. Yes, of course, I have listened to all their albums, but it simply doesn’t feel right.
That’s why this is not going to be your ordinary album review that you can find elsewhere on the internet. Instead, this will be an honest track-by-track reaction-type review, with a like/dislike scoring system (1 if the song is good and I like it, 0.5 if it’s somewhere in between, and 0 if I don’t like it). Everything was done after the first listen, except the singles of course.
It’s their 24th album this time, called ‘Hackney Diamonds,’ which was released on October 20th. If you want facts about the release, you know what to do—just Google it. I won’t be wasting your time with that.
This one was the first single, and it’s an energetic rock opener that I really enjoy hearing on a record. It’s uplifting, dirty, and stylish. It grabbed my attention on the first listen and has been stuck in my head with its infectious chorus. The video tells its own story, and it captivated all of us. Fantastic. Pure hit song!
A pleasant and enjoyable tune with a sophisticated saxophone solo. It serves as a great balance for the aftermath left after the first song.
3.Depending On You
This one has that wild-horsey kind of sound, which is fine. It’s nothing special in general, but it’s an enjoyable song that gets a half point.
4.Bite My Head Off (feat. Paul McCartney)
Can you imagine The Stones and The Beatles making music together? Yeah? But have you imagined it to be like this? Probably not. You might have expected a ballad or something, but instead, it’s another hurricane-type dirty rock tune with infectious riffs provided by Keith Richards and Ron Wood, with an electrifying bass played by the legend himself, Paul McCartney. This one surely deserves a point. It’s one of the best songs on the album!
5.Whole Wide World
And when I thought I had heard one of the best songs on the release, this one proved me wrong. What a great guitar riff this is. Where did you get this one, Keith, man? It’s hypnotizing. It has a great vibe. Everything about it is perfect.
This is precisely why I don’t review bands like the Stones. It’s because of songs like this one. Don’t get me wrong, I understand that this type of tune plays a significant part in their music catalog. However, I’m just not into that bluesy country honky-tonk kind of stuff. It’s not a bad song, but it simply doesn’t resonate with me. Sorry.
7.Mess It Up
Quite the opposite of the previous one, this is my kind of Stones. Uplifting, with dirty yet clean guitars, it’s melodic and has great hooks. Hey, it’s the seventh song on the album, and I haven’t mentioned Mick Jagger. There’s nothing much to say, except he delivered on every single song on this album. Great work, Mick.
8.Live By The Sword (feat. Elton John)
Wow, another rocker. I really didn’t expect this album to have so many rocking tunes. Here, we have two legends contributing. First, there’s Elton John himself, but on this tune, we have Bill Wyman playing bass, which is great to hear. This song sounds like 70’s glam rock, and I simply love it.
9.Driving Me Too Hard
Plain and simple, this is a filler song for me. Nothing really stands out here. The album wouldn’t have suffered without this one, that’s for sure.
10.Tell Me Straight
Okay, we all know that Keith has to sing on the album, right? To me, his songs in the Stones’ catalog have always felt kind of boring and forced, to be honest. But surprisingly, not this time. I like the mystique of this one and the clean guitar riff. This song really has something.
11.Sweet Sounds Of Heaven (feat. Lady Gaga and Stevie Wonder)
You’re probably going to hate me for this one. So, when this song popped up on my Spotify release radar and I saw all those names in the title, I thought this was going to be a legendary tune. Then I listened to it and… I got bored, really. What can I say, I’m not a fan of this kind of slow and dragged-out songs. I get it, it was supposed to be a legendary collaboration, but for me, it’s not. Lady Gaga sounds really weird, and I do like her as a musician, and some of her songs, just to be clear (this is coming from a rocker, don’t forget that). Anyway, I don’t like it, but for the sake of being legendary, I’ll give it a half point.
12.Rolling Stone Blues
We all know this is a cover song, a Muddy Waters one, and playing a cover is usually not that special for me. But not this time. This is not just some random cover that they chose to do; this is THE song that gave them their name – The Rolling Stones! Since this is maybe their last album ever, I am giving this one a whole point. In fact, I actually really enjoyed it! They started with blues and there is no better way to end it.
Final rating: 9/5 out of 12
And this is it, ladies and gentlemen. We’ve got our rating, and it is 9.5 out of 12. The rating says it all. It is a fantastic album, and I personally didn’t expect it to be. After so many years of a career, when they have nothing to prove anymore, they proved that they can make another great record. Not many legacy bands can really do that. They hadn’t been releasing new albums for 18 years, and that was fine. They didn’t need to. But when they decided to do it, as in this particular case, they managed to do it in the highest possible manner. What else can I say? Well done, guys, and thank you for all this incredible music over all these years. From a guy who was born in between their 18th and 19th album, I think this was enough