A Bigger Whimper

'A Bigger Bang', the Rolling Stones 25th studio album (god have they done that many?) appears alongside their expensive and over rated tour of the states. The album begins as you would expect with a testosterone calling card, and the swagger of the Stones, but these days the swagger is helped along with their zimmer frames.

This album will still be a must for the diehard Stones fan, as it still does cover the essential elements of classic Stones albums, that guttural, dirty, bluesy, smoke filled rock and roll that only they can produce. You can imagine Keith and Ron on those guitars, Charlie banging away on the drums, and of course the whining and howling of Mick.

The album is sixteen tracks and is a tad far too long, but they are probably trying to prove they can still write and record. It may be a better album if they had stuck at twelve tracks, but it tends to go on that bit too long.

Don't get me wrong there are some great tracks on this album, but they are let down by the rest of the line up. 'Rough Justice' is a typical Stones rock and roll song, something that will become a classic in years to come and there are also the funny self put downs of songs such as 'It Won't Take long'. But the Stones have included a song that is way out of place on the album, 'Sweet Neo Con'. This lyrical attack on George W. Bush's foreign policy will hardly have him quaking in his cowboy boots. Not with Mick's problems with his "domestic" policies.

Some critics have quite simply written this album off as crass, others have praised it to the hilt. One thing I can say is that the album has grown on me every time I have listened to it. If you want earth shattering music you are looking in the wrong place, but if a good steady rock and roll sound is what you want then this album is for you.