Sticky Fingers review by The Rolling Stones

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  • Released: Apr 23, 1971
  • Sound: 10
  • Lyrics: 10
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 10 Gem
  • Users' score: 9.1 (14 votes)
The Rolling Stones: Sticky Fingers

Sound — 10
From the opening chords of Brown Sugar you can tell that this album is going to be a classic. The song epitomizes every stereotype that has ever been said about the Stones: daring, sexist, cocky, brash, bold. Its all true in this uptempo rocker which is about, among other things, slavery, interracial sex, and lost virginity. Another fine rocker on the album is Bitch, a mean-spirited work out based around a classic Keith Richards riff. Can't You Hear Me Knocking is a long jam which features a refreshing Santana-esque solo section. Sway is a bluesy affair which features a stunning outro solo by Mick Taylor, played over a grandoise string section. Wild Horses is also a standout because it is probably their first sincerely emotional country ballad, a simply heartbreaking masterpiece that really shows a new side to Mick Jagger as a singer. This newly emotional voice is a recurring theme throughout Sticky Fingers, coming up again in the haunting drug ballads, Dead Flowers and Moonlight Mile. Probably the weakest song on the album is I Got The Blues, a slow, lounge-like blues number that may prove a bit predictable for some (although the organ solo is quite refreshing).

Lyrics — 10
Mick Jagger's lyrics on Sticky Fingers are his best yet, matching his trademark cockiness with a newfound, heartfelt sincerity displayed in the haunting ballads, Dead Flowers, Wild Horses, and Moonlight Mile. At some points in Brown Sugar and Bitch his lyrics cross the line separating self assured with offensive. But the purpose of those lyrics is not just to cause a stir, but rather to create a setting for the song. Despite lyrics that some might call offensive, this is his most mature effort to date, weary and foreboding of the perils associated with the rock and roll lifestyle. He even comes out and says it in Sway when he states, "It's just that demon life that's got me in its sway".

Overall Impression — 10
Even at its weakest moments (and there aren't many), Sticky Fingers still rises above its peers in terms of originality and musicianship. The theme of the album is laid back, rather downtrodden at times, yet never overly self pitying. Mick Taylor shines in his first full effort with The World's Greatest Rock And Roll Band. His leads are timeless in the sense that even today, countless artists try to mimic the intense guitar interplay between Keith Richards and Mick Taylor. This album is my favorite Stones offering and a must own for any rock enthusiast.

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