“Painted Rust on the Stones: Blue & Lonesome’s Critical Reception”

I’m really surprised anybody even reviewed this new Rolling Stones album, let alone giving it a passing or shining grade. It’s literally composed entirely of old blues standards — the format doesn’t even stray into R&B, soul or rockabilly. Actually, it’s even more monochromatic than the old blues boys like Bo Diddley, because on their albums they would incorporate little non-melodic goof-off sessions like “Say Man,” a little session of ugliness insults between Diddley and some joker off the street, set to skittish shuffling and a frenetic guitar run.
Looking at just this one tiny bit on it in Britain’s The Week, I see that USA Today claimed “Fans of the Rolling Stones have been given a ‘cosmic gift.’” This is indication of how hopelessly low our standards of music have ebbed in America (The Week gave Blue & Lonesome three stars out of four): either that or they have the likely common tick of lunging for a topical story of any sort. Well, to the extent that music should comment on news, as in you know, the world commenting on the world, Blue & Lonesome’s credibility falls to an even worse nadir. What it amounts to is a museum session — ok for Stones completists, but not at all something that should pass as a viable rock album in 2016.

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