“Hackney Diamonds” is the first LP of The Rolling Stones’ originals since 2005, following “A Bigger Bang.” While critic and audience reviews have been mixed since the albums’ Oct. 20 release, there is much to say about the band’s 38th Billboard Top 10 record.
In a few words, the album is just like the good old days. Many agree that this latest project incorporates the familiar amalgamation of pop-rock and gospel-blues that garnered The Rolling Stones international fame in the 1960s.
The first track, “Angry,” is comparable to many previous album openers. “Paint It Black” and “Start Me Up” are prime examples. However, many fans feel that the song betrays the integrity of the band’s rock ‘n’ roll comeback, being too simple with pop-like instrumentation and lyricism.
Enthusiasts and critics alike enjoyed “Sweet Sounds of Heaven” featuring Lady Gaga. In true throwback fashion, the track sounds like a modern-day “Gimme Shelter.” Lady Gaga screamed out incredible lines similar to what Merry Clayton sang in 1969. Stevie Wonder also provides an incredible, jazzy piano instrumentation. This track feels like the true end to the album, and maybe the Stones’ career.
However, the actual last track, “Rolling Stone Blues,” brings the band’s entire career around. This song is a short acoustic cover of Muddy Waters’ song “Rollin’ Stone,” which the band used to create its name.
Overall, the success of “Hackney Diamonds” has raised questions about the future of The Rolling Stones’ career.
The Stones have had a Top 10 record every decade since the 60s, and unlike many bands of their era, are still releasing music nearly 60 years later.
Critics have questioned whether such a long lifespan of superstar groups is a good thing. The fame bands like The Rolling Stones have maintained over the years is thought to affect new artists’ opportunities to make a name for themselves in the industry.
Opponents of this idea say that any success a band can have is good because fixed, multi-piece acts are becoming less and less relevant. Most of the music in the Hot 100 this week is that of individual artists like Taylor Swift and Doja Cat. They work with other musicians when recording and touring, but the name is associated with a single person, not a group.
What’s more, many bands are breaking off into solo projects. Jungkook of BTS is a prime example as he has made plans to appear on “The Tonight Show” following his upcoming studio debut “Golden.”
The Rolling Stones continue a 60-year streak of success, regardless of what the rest of the industry has to say about it. Guitarist Keith Richards has claimed there is more music coming after “Hackney Diamonds.”
Even if this latest release is The Rolling Stones’ last, it is a perfectly fair ending to a lengthy career for the rock legends. If there is more to come, the band leaves pretty big shoes to fill.