howdy pop pickers
and so that most interesting and pleasant of things in the modern music world, look you see - a surprise release by a favoured and, to be sure, treasured artist. in this instance Sir Michael Jagger, the erstwhile Mick Jagger of Rolling Stones and Ro££ing $tone$ fame, has released what i suppose constitutes or counts as a "double a side" single.
provenance, reason and background of such? i am sure you may well have read the interviews by now, with Mick being surprising generous in allowing access and giving information in support of this release. in short, he came up with these two songs, Gotta Get A Grip and England Lost, a few months ago and was in "quite a rush" to get them released.
to release they went, be it in "digital" alone, on July 28, for the not unreasonable price of £1.29 for the pair of songs, or 99p each if for some reason you elect to purchase them separately. in this i made no such election and went for the cheaper option.
chances are that if you wished to hear either song, or bear witness to the seemingly expensive videos made for them, you shall have done so. if however you want to depart this post and give them a listen, well then let me make it easy for you. click on the names of the songs here, to be sure, to go and both see and hear Gotta Get A Grip and England Lost. enjoy.
some sort of review thing? i believe this would be best done twofold, if that's a word and further the correct word to use in this instance. first, the songs in themselves. they are rather good. very good, indeed. not groundbreaking, creatively carving up the world so, but overall highly enjoyable, catchy songs.
musically they sound quite similar to each other, but as it's a good sound you can somewhat generously overlook that. all of it is some snatched mishmash of isolated good ideas, really, that in a way work. bit of reggae here, some blues there, generous guitar riff everywhere.
the strength of strength of both songs is the vocal of Mick Jagger. well at least when it is allowed to be all that it is, for sadly at stages on both songs he for some inexplicable reason uses that distorting "autotune" rubbish. most splendid that the voice he had some 50 odd years ago remains as powerful, distinct and captivating as always.
well, i really like them, and have played the songs a few times. perhaps i should have "streamed" them rather than buy, so that Mick Jagger may experience the Ed Sheeran life of dominating the charts with repeat plays, but i would think he quite likes his end of the £1.29 i paid.
second of the fold then is the contextual look at the songs, which is what they are all about and why Mick Jagger, by his standards, was in such a jolly rush to get them released. Sir Michael is somewhat despondent, displeased. concerned, worried, angry and (gasp) quite cross with the state of the world. he's most distressed about Brexit, this "fake news" thing, Trump, rising right wing groups, religious fanatics and basically all such related stuff.
his crossness comes over in some witty words, and some vulgarity it has to be said. yes, there's an "eat sh!t" in one song, a casual "p!ss off" in the other. interestingly, curiously perhaps, he tends to sit on the fence about most of the subjects he carries. a lot of the press, however, seem to have immediately interpreted it as Sir Michael being proudly pro-EU or indeed a sign of him being "yet another elitist remoaner whining away". which brings us to an interesting point.
should Mick Jagger, Sir Michael, be making statements about this? he of vast wealth, of former tax exile status (that he never got knacked for like Bono)? as an owner of castles, mansions and islands around the world? why, by jove, yes. you see the trick is with "freedom of speech" is that the price is everyone has it, and if not everyone has it then no one really does. people tend to pretend this is not true when they hear something what they disagree with, like.
to me there are few more personifications of English and Englishness in this world than Mick Jagger. and his passion and love of his country has never ever been in question. should he wish to speak on the subject then of course i am going to listen, with interest. it does not particularly mean that i would agree with him.
although the inherent, overt political nature of both songs is possibly why there was never any chance of this being done with The Rolling Stones. it may well be that factions within the band agree with what Sir Mick has to say, but managing the financial juggernaut that is the Ro££ing $tone$ to ensure money keeps rolling in requires steering well clear of any overt political, religious or anything else statements. why alienate part of an audience when you can get lovely, lovely, Ronnie Wood divorce funding money from all of them instead?
from what i can gather these two songs what Mick has "dropped" on "the kids" are it. they are not a prelude or preview to a full solo album. something of a shame, really, as if he could knock out another 8 or 10 tracks like this, as in this quality, then i'd be down on it and i suspect it would add further to his retirement fund. not that retirement would seem on the calendar.
you wanted to get these songs out as quick as possible, Sir Mick, and you wanted the people to hear what you had to say, you did your bit, i as a fan have done mine, then. not that you would have a single calorie of care for what i, a humble fan thinks (just so long as i have paid up), for what it is worth i may well disagree with that which you say, but by my word you say it so very well and i would forever defend your right to say such.
give the songs a try, but ultimately just dig what you dig......
be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!