Rating: *** 1/2
The Rolling Stones formed in 1962 as a blues/rock n roll band. Almost 50 years later, the band is still together though not active. So during this time off, singer Mick Jagger formed one of the most unusual supergroups ever. The band's name is SuperHeavy. It consists of Jagger, Dave Stewart of the Eurythmics, UK soul singer Joss Stone, Bob Marley's youngest son Damien Marley, and Bollywood composer A.R. Rahman. The band does have a good sound but their name is a bit misleading (at least to some people): it's basically reggae music mixed with rock. No matter what, SuperHeavy's debut album is an impressive album and pretty experimental.
The album starts with a self titled track, which is a good way to introduce both the album and the band. For the entire album, it's mainly Jagger, Stone, and Marley providing the lead vocals. Marley sings most of this first song. Being the son of one of the world's most iconic musicians ever, Marley does have vocals that fit with all of the album's tracks. He's doesn't sound too much like his father but that's a good thing, I think, in some ways. There are a couple of electronic riddled tracks that are a bit difficult to sit through. "Unbelievable" is probably the easiest of them. It surprises me that Jagger would dabble into this kind of music but the Stones are known to have dabbled in reggae as well. The first single for the album, "Miracle Worker", is probably the best song off the album. It just sounds great with Marley, Stone, and Jagger singing to what sounds mostly like a reggae song. Still, there's some Indian music hidden in here. Listen for the violin at the end. Just fantastic. The chorus: "Oohhoo you're a miracle worker/Oohhoo you're a surgeon of love/Oohhoo you made my way to fix me up/And I'll promise I'll be back again, if you work your miracles on me". Next is the fittingly titled "Energy", which is just what the song basically is. Stone's vocals really soar over everyone else's. "Satyameva Jayathe" is a bit odd to listen to as a rock music listener but it's pretty good. "One Day One Night" is another good song, with Jagger mainly taking over lead vocals. It does sound a bit dark, which I like. As I mentioned before, there are a couple of songs that are hard to sit through. These songs include "Beautiful People", which would be better without all the electronic sounds. Then there are songs like "Rock Me Gently" and "I Don't Mind" which just get boring after a while. I really do like "I Can't Take It No More", which is probably the closest thing to rock. "What the fuck is goin' on?" screams Stone at the beginning of the song before it gets heavy (the only time this album is ever SuperHeavy really). The album closes with "World Keeps Turning", which sounds like a weak wannabe "We Are The World".
If you're a fan of the Rolling Stones, you're going to have to think carefully about purchasing this album. I recommend listening to a few track but no matter what listen to "Miracle Worker" at least. I think that there will determine if the album will or will not be your cup of tea. For me, SuperHeavy is a pretty good album. As a big fan of the Rolling Stones, I'd rather see the band getting ready for a 50th anniversary tour but it looks like that might not happen. Whatever this is, it's good.