Song of the Week (Perhaps, Year): "Angry"


I pretty much gave up on the Rolling Stones after Tattoo You (1981), which was the last truly great album the band released. Sure, they continued to write the occasional hit or otherwise good/great song, but there was a decided lack of cohesion and creativity, and none of the later albums really "stuck."

So I am extremely pleased to review the first single ("Angry") from their soon-to-be-released album, Hackney Diamonds, their first album in over seven years. If "Angry" is more than a one-off hit, then the album promises to be their best in over 40 years. And they are taking no chances; just as Dolly Parton has done for her upcoming (amazing) rock and roll album, the Stones have brought in some "ringers" to spice things up, including Don Was, Lady Gaga, Sir Elton John, Stevie Wonder, and Sir Paul McCartney. The band also pays tribute to Charlie Watts by using some of the drum tracks he recorded before his death in 2021. How can they miss with a line-up like that?

"Angry" opens not with a new, hot riff by Keith Richards (one almost expects it), but with two extremely common chord sequences -- which the band nevertheless manages to make sound completely fresh and new, and which they use as the foundation of the majority of the song. It is so unexpectedly perfect that it is almost spine-tingling. The lyrics are simple, but effective (basically, "why are we angry at each other?") and are delivered with real punch by Jagger, who is in superb form (at 80 years of age!).

Since any good rock and roll video has to feature a gorgeous young lady, preferably in leather, this one features leather miniskirt-clad actress Sydney Sweeney (Euphoria, The White Lotus) riding around L.A. in a convertible, singing along with the band, while they sing the song from the billboards she passes. Although this concept has been done before, it has never been done as well or as effectively as it is here. Once again, the Stones show why they are who they are, and why they can never be counted out.

I have not looked forward to a Rolling Stones album with such anticipation as I have now in over 40 years.

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