THE ROLLING STONES

(UNITED KINGDOM)

HACKNEY DIAMONDS

(2023)
LABEL:

UNIVERSAL

GENRE:

ROCK

TAGS:
Bluesy, Easy-Listening, Old School
"As incredible as it is unexpected, "Hackney Diamonds" could turn out to be a majestic and dazzling reverence from the Rolling Stones, offering a lesson in maturity and youthfulness."
LOLOCELTIC (02.11.2023)  
4/5
(0) opinions (0) comment(s) (1) Biography + (6)
On August 24, 2021, Charlie Watts passed away, bringing to an end 59 years of rock and roll together with bandmates Mick Jagger and Keith Richards. After the tragic death of Brian Jones in 1969 and the retirement of Bill Wyman in 1993, the dandy drummer was the third member to leave the Rolling Stones after creating it in 1962. This left only the Glimmer Twins and the faithful Ron Wood to keep alive the monument still considered by many to be the world's greatest rock band. In other words, the new album hoped for and announced since "Blue And Lonesome" (2016) seemed likely to remain an unfinished dream. And yet, launched by a perfectly orchestrated advertising campaign, "Hackney Diamonds" arrived without warning, triggering a feeling of mixed excitement and anxiety among the crowds of admirers of the London myth.

It's true that the Rolling Stones haven't always produced flawless material, and it's hard to imagine a new collection of diamonds cut from the most incisive rock by an 80-year-old singer and his barely younger guitarist companion. And yet, rock offers us a new miracle, proving that legends never die. With twelve tracks that seem to cover the best of the legendary combo's career, and a guest line-up that would make the Who's Who of rock green with envy, "Hackney Diamonds" and leaves us haggard with a mixture of delight and disbelief. 

It's one thing for Keith Richards to be able to conjure up riffs as disarmingly simple as they are effective, with results as unstoppable as 'Angry' and 'Get Close'. It's another that the now trio still masters the art of the bewitching ballad, whether pop-rock ('Depending On You') or country ('Dreamy Skies'). But the fact that he manages to throw us such raging pieces as the punkish 'Bite My Head Off', with Paul McCartney unleashed behind his bass, or the scathing 'Whole Wide World', with its incendiary solos, is more unexpected from octogenarians with such dissolute lives. It's also hard to believe that the Rolling Stones continue to defy the laws of medicine, unleashing the disco-soul groove of 'Mess It Up' or 'Live By The Sword'. It's worth noting that both tracks feature recordings by Charlie Watts behind the drums, and that the latter even reunites the band's historic rhythmic pair, with Bill Wyman guesting on bass.

After the intensity of the superb bluesy ballad 'Sweet Sounds Of Heaven', on which Lady Gaga recalls the glory days of Merry Clayton on 'Gimme Shelter', has left us breathless, 'Rolling Stone Blues' closes the festivities with a magnificent wink. In fact, it was this Muddy Waters song that prompted the Richards / Jagger pair to name the band after themselves. And it's no surprise that the pair's rendition of this song, with their guitars and a harmonica, unleashes its share of emotions and melancholy. 

Although the members of the Rolling Stones announce that they have enough material to release several more albums, this sounds like a majestic release and would represent the most magnificent of curtseys. While we await a hypothetical follow-up, it's our turn to bow before such a career and an artistic miracle as incredible as it is dazzling.
- Official website

TRACK LISTING:
01. Angry - 3:46
02. Get Close (feat. Elton John) - 4:10
03. Depending On You - 4:03
04. Bite My Head Off (feat. Paul Mccartney) - 3:31
05. Whole Wide World - 3:58
06. Dreamy Skies - 4:38
07. Mess It Up - 4:03
08. Live By The Sword (feat. Elton John) - 3:59
09. Driving Me Too Hard - 3:16
10. Tell Me Straight - 2:56
11. Sweet Sounds Of Heaven (feat. Lady Gaga & Stevie Wonder) - 7:22
12. Rolling Stone Blues - 2:45

LINEUP:
Charlie Watts: Batterie
Keith Richards: Chant / Guitares / Basse / Claviers
Mick Jagger: Chant / Guitares / Percussions Et Harmonica
Ron Wood: Guitares / Basse
Steve Jordan: Batterie
Andrew Watt: Guitares / Basse / Invité / Percussions Et Chœurs
Bill Wyman: Basse / Invité
Elton John: Claviers / Invité / Piano Et Chœurs
James King: Invité / Saxophone
Karlos Edwards: Invité / Percussions
Lady Gaga: Chant / Invité
Paul McCartney: Basse / Invité
Ringo Starr: Batterie / Invité
Ron Blake: Invité / Trompette
Stevie Wonder: Claviers / Invité / Piano
   
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