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Wednesday 15 August 2018

Jagger's super group of schlock

SuperHeavy SuperHeavy (A&M)

Rock's oldest goat likes 'em young. Or so we're led to believe. But who came up with this creaking collaboration? Mick Jagger (108) and Joss Stone (16) in the company of the music industry's most easily overlooked odd-jobs man, Eurythmics' Dave Stewart, Bob Marley's befuddled son Damian and Indian film composer AR Rahman. I guess the Mozart of Madras is game for a laugh. Either that or he's lost all self-respect.

If I'd been asked to name these liggers I'd have suggested SpruceGoose, after multi-millionaire tycoon Howard Hughes' doomed attempt to create the world's largest flying boat from wood.

Hughes, who later went a bit doolally, claimed his creation was "a monumental undertaking . . . over five stories tall with a wingspan longer than a football field."

The designer claimed he'd leave the country and never come back if it failed to fly. It barely got off the ground. I hope Jagger is paying attention here.



wingspan

The wingspan of SuperHeavy is wide enough to accommodate schlock rock music, cod reggae, ersatz soul, a bit of bubbly banghra or raga and some god-awful electronic pop doodlings.

You can imagine the committee meetings when this venture was first mooted. "There hasn't been a genuine supergroup on our marketing agenda for decades, let's run this one up the flagpole."

A cursory listen to this dross and they'll be running it out of Flagstaff, Arizona. The title track gives the game away. A boisterous clunky kitchen-sink work-out, it features Marley blatherin' on about being "'eavy, 'eavy, sooper-'eavy" while Ms Stone gets to shout an occasional chorus in a reedy voice that threaten's to wipe out the global bat population. An Indian geezer gives a shout-out too. But this pan-continental mish-mash is cultural codswallop.



bleat

Jagger earns his corn by bleating like a hyena on Unbelievable ("night is the time for fantasy of lurve . . .") as the others elbow their way to the top of the queue to hog the spotlight.

Whatever about Marley acting the eejit with his Jamaican patois, if you heard Rahman squealing like this outside your hotel in Calcutta you'd call the cops to have him removed to work in Mother Teresa's laundry room.

Miracle Worker has a loping reggae groove that UB 40 might be happy enough with. But Marley's hectoring style of toasting would invite gory retaliation if attempted in Trenchtown. While Jagger masticates his way through some unlikely lyrical tropes. How about: "I'm well prepared. My scalpel, mask and gloves. Don't ever get too scared."

Pathetic. A singalong chorus saves the track from oblivion with Stone trilling like Pepsi & Shirley.

Elsewhere, Jagger reheats some Stones' non-starters such as the country-honk Never Gonna Change and the clumsy finger-wagging protest blast I Can't Take It No More.

If these were designed to prod songwriting partner Keith Richards into action, then Jagger has blown the chance of recording a new Stones' album. SuperHeavy is simply a tragic mess. IIII

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