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July 29, 1980 - Image 7

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1980-07-29

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The Michigan Daily-Tuesday, July 29, 1980-Page 7
Keith rescues the new Stones

Emotional Rescue
The Rolling Stones
Rolling Stones COC 1601
After months of the expected
agonizing anticipation, the Rolling
Stones' new album has been out
few weeks now. Yet the popular reac-
tion to Emotional Rescue, or maybe the
lack of it, seems a might peculiar. The
album is selling briskly of course, and
"She's So Cold" has fit perfectly into
summer radio playlists, but the near-
universal enthusiasm that greeted
Some Girls' entrance into the market-
place is lacking. I get the idea that a lot
of people wrote off the whole of
Emotional Rescue after hearing
Jagger's ingratiating falsetto on the
title track. Naturally, a lot of other
people accepted all without
questioning, but the majority of us are
still listening to the damned thing,
trying to decipher what these middle
aged teenagers are up to now.
Emotional Rescue is a contradictory
album, simultaneously confusing and
exhilarating. Despite initial suspicions,
this is not the sequel to Some Girls. The
structural similarities seem strong as
both albums open with an ersatz tune
but "Dance" cuts a little deeper than
"Miss You", achieving a bit of funk
without resorting to the disco trickery
of its precursor. The spectre of past
success hangs even more heavily over
the following "Summer Romance"
final offer
"continued from Page 3)
give in. "They're at a point where
neither side is willing to make much
movement," he said, "now it's a matter
of who can last the longest.
"There have been some long strikes
in the history of the labor movement
and there will be more," he added, "I
just hope it doesn't happen in Ann Ar-
Negotiators will meet again today at
9 a.m. Simonetta said AATA is
prepared to discuss why the union
rejected management's last offer.
"Then it's their turn to move," he said.
"At least that's how we interpret it."
930ar -530pm
Tuesday through Sunday

("Lies" to be specific) which utilizes
that same "Punky" nervous energy
and absolute adherence to rhythm to
riveting effect. What sets these tunes
apart from their immediate
predecessors is their fluidity, the
easygoing flow of riffs from the
guitarists that blend for a compelling,
though markedly relaxed confidence
that's been missing from the Stone's
sound for a long, long time.
BUT AS THE musical currents start
to run deeper, the lyrical content
becomes increasingly shallow. Gran-
ted, the Stones haven't had much to say
lately, but Emotional Rescue is un-
titilatingly trite, lacking even the wise-
ass profundity and well-honed blun-
tness that salvaged Some Girls. Let's
face it, Jagger hasn't written a lyric
with a point of reference that could
possibly extend beyond him since
Exiles and these latest efforts con-
stitute another not particularly
noteworthy installment in The Mick
Jagger Saga. When he sings "none of
your money will buy you forgiveness",
he could be singing about one of his
famous lovers, maybe Bob Dylan or the
late great Shah, God, maybe about
TER!. Jagger's just another self-
righteous millionaire bitchin' about
money and broad4 and he's not
especially insightful or even that funny
any more.
Saving lukewarm lyrics from the fire
would appear to be the work of a minute
for Jagger but here he sounds perfun-
ctory at best, at worst downright
desperate. Mick is clutching at the
straws of novelty, substituting hysteria
and histronics for any real feeling again
and again. He mangles straightforward
hooks on almost every song and finally
succumbs to irritating, mannered ar-
chness on the misguided "Indian Girl".
Jagger sounds best on the extem-
peraneously energetic "Where The

Boys Go" talk-singing the suggestive
lyrics with a strained straightforwar-
dness that meshes nicely with the im-
provisatory feel of the song. One gets
the idea the whole shebang would fall
apart without Charlie, as Keith and
Ronnie toss off random licks and blasts
of melody that only casually coincide
with the rhythmic impetus. Yet, this
loose approach harnesses all the
driving tension of rock with the reflec-
tive intensity of the blues held firmly in-
And it's through the music that this
album ultimately succeeds. It has been
suggested that Keith Richards played a
larger role in the planning and recor-
ding of Emotional Rescue than usual
and the results would support that
suspicion. Richards is slowly expan-
ding his style, at times bringing Mick
Taylor back to mind, but he has
retained the directness and sparcity
that always made his rudimentary riffs
so ominously eloquent. Ron-Wood con-
tinues to be a supportive influence, but
does't figure as prominently here as he
did at first. And the rhythm section is
still the Stones rhythm section, they'd
be lost without 'em. The Stones are

striving for a more balanced sound
now-a diffusion of energy and expan-
sion of texture which could be inter-
preted as a pandering move towards
pushing product if it didn't sound so
AND WHILE it all isn't completely
successful it's hardly unlistenable; in
fact, the attempts at diversification
make the standard stuff that much
more convincing. The throbbing intro to
"Let Me Go", and Jagger's frantic
phrasemongering ("You're gonna get it
straight from the shoulder/don't you
know the party's over") wouldn't sound
half as arresting if they didn't follow.
another half-realized reggae attempt
("Send It To Me"). The band sounds so
comfortable and confident the rockers
click through their own momentum,
even when Jaggers' weaknesses are
The clincher comes at the end of the
album. "All About You", Keith
Richard's vocal showpiece, is a real
sleeper, a slow-burning blues that
builds fire through repeated listening;
while it is personal it's anything but
presumptious. There's an
acknowledgement of vulnerability
amidst the off-handed hardness of this
portrayal of Richards wife, Anita, a
recognition that seems at once out of
character and totally honest. The
moody distance between the calm
assurance of his guitar playing and the
callow rasp of the vocals is striking,
providing Emotional Rescue its one
moment of actual emotion.
The album ends on a hopeful note,
then, and we are left looking to Keith
Richards for an answer to the Stones
current dilemma. He probably doesn't
know the way out, but he's more than
making do with what's left. The final
verdict on Emotional Rescue is still out,
but that shouldn't stop anyone from
spending the rest of the summer en-
joying it.

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