The Rewind Button: Exile On Main St

The Rewind Button is a group blogging project instigated by Rachel Tynan. We’re writing our impressions of Rolling Stones top 40 albums of all time every Thursday.

This week: The Rolling Stones – Exile on Main Street

I don’t like the Rolling Stones.  There I said it.  I know it might be blasphemy within the brotherhood of musicians.  Alas, it is true and I feel better having said it.  It’s not that I have any strong dislike for the band.  I don’t put them in the Nickelback column.  I’m just indifferent.  I’ve never bought a Rolling Stones album, I’ve never played a Rolling Stones cover, I’ve never considered going to a concert and I’ve never done any moves like Jagger onstage.  The empirical evidence can only lead to the conclusion: Me no like Stones.

And that said, I don’t really dig this album.  I tried to focus in adorned in headphones but I quickly found myself watching the Blue Jays game simultaneously.  In general, I just don’t find the music engaging.  I find that they rely a little too heavily on bluesy conventions – chord structure, instrumentation, riffing style.  No innovation jumps out to attract my attention.  I don’t feel any of those “ooh” moments that draw me in- be it a lyric a harmony or interesting modulation.  And Mick’s voice doesn’t do it for me.  Exile just kind of plowed on by, like a freight train in motion.  Each car with its own contents sprayed with canned colours but blurring together as it rambled on making it hard to remember each track with so many cars strung together.

The best songs on the album are the ones that sound more acoustic or live in the room- “Sweet Virgina” and “Sweet Black Angel”.  The sweet ones.

Don’t get me wrong, I do understand why The Rolling Stones are a great band.  They definitely feel the rock n roll spirit.  The players play with passion and Mick has the magic.  This album creates a good atmosphere for a party or bar or backdoor BBQ.  They’re just not my cup of tea.  Or pint of beer, if you will.  You know, some people love their hoppy beers and some like a darker, full-bodied beer.  I find the Stones too hoppy.

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