Thursday, 9 August 2018

The Rolling Stones - Voodoo Lounge (1994)


  

Released July 1994

Recorded in Dublin and Los Angeles

It is an unfortunately popular cliche to condemn this album, comparing it to "Let It Bleed" or "Exile On Main Street" and saying that it is one of the worst Rolling Stones albums. I have to say I disagree. I think it is a reasonable album. Comparisons with their outstanding past work are actually pretty pointless. Just listen to this album and decide whether it rocks or to. In my view, it does.

TRACK LISTING

1. Love Is Strong
2. You Got Me Rocking
3. Sparks Will Fly
4. The Worst
5. New Faces
6. Moon Is Up
7. Out Of Tears
8. I Go Wild
9. Brand New Car
10. Suck On The Jugular
11. Sweethearts Together
12. Blinded By Rainbows
13. Thru And Thru
14. Baby Break It Down
15. Mean Disposition

It had been five years since "Steel Wheels", their previous album and the first two lead off tracks are seriously powerful. A great return from The Stones. "Love Is Strong" is a rousing bluesy, leery rocker and "You Got Me Rocking" is a riffy absolute corker. It has been a great early track in their live set ever since, and rightly so. Jagger's voice is on characterful top form and Keith Richard's riffage is as fresh and invigorating as ever. A great track. "Sparks Will Fly" has received a fair amount of opprobrium over the years for its relatively "slack" sexually oriented lyrics. Personally, I haven't got a problem with it. It's The Rolling Stones. I'm glad to hear they are still naughty boys! Also, its a copper-bottomed rocker. Keith's laid-back, sadly yearning "The Worst" is a lovely track actually, although his voice is sounding older and older. "New Faces" sees a return to that Elizabethan vibe that the band used in the sixties on the melodic keyboard refrain and Jagger's vocal is excellent. I love this track.

"Moon Is Up" is a menacing, grinding, bassy mid-paced rocker, while "Out Of Tears" has another great hook and convincing vocal. "I Go Wild" ploughs the same furrow as "Sparks Will Fly", although is not quite as risqué. Again, it has a singalong chorus, something that is common to a lot of the songs on the album. One problem with albums after the year 1990 or around there, is that the age of the CD meant that bands were filling them up with 75 minutes' worth of music, so, on occasions, they included some filler and can go on a bit too long. On this album, probably the bluesy "Brand New Car" and the staccato, funky "Suck On The Jugular", while I like both of them, I feel the album would not suffer if they were not there. Similarly, "Sweethearts Together" is a plaintive Jagger love song, but there are better tracks on the album.

"Blinded By Rainbows" is another with a captivating hook, and a great chorus and Richards' "Thru And Thru" is just great - a slow burner with a superb, powerful rock ending. One of Richards' best songs for a while. "Baby Break It Down" is a bit more average, but "Mean Disposition" is a fantastic rocker to end the album with. Although I feel the album is maybe few tracks too long, I can honestly say that I like all the tracks on there. When I say there is not a real duff track on it, in my opinion, I actually mean it. I know many, many people will not agree and I fully understand why, but, for me it is a good album, that I enjoy listening to. Of course, it isn't as good as some of those earlier albums, but very few albums are.

B-


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