When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson

12 April 2008

On prancer, on dancer

...Jagger's voice has become monotonous. It is impossible not to have some doubts about a 63-year-old--however flat his stomach, however mini his hips--rustling up musical energies (if not from beyond the grave exactly, then) from a time long before punk. It is as if he is caricaturing himself from some dreadful late 1960s TV variety show. Even then, he was much more of a prancer than dancer.

Still, the old hits are here--"Jumping Jack Flash", "Sympathy for the Devil", "Brown Sugar". The best moments are when the band is joined by Buddy Guy, a brilliant old blues man, for a rendition of "Champagne and Reefer", and when Jagger slings a white electric guitar over his shoulder to join his two guitar regulars for a thrumming, visceral "Some Girls".

Both numbers point up the band's elemental strengths: their lashing blues base and their essential structure as a guitar band (just watch those three budding pensioners axe away in "Some Girls"). Rock'n'roll gets neither longer in the tooth nor more basic than this.

James Woodall, "Watching 'Shine A Light'" (More Intelligent Life)

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