Amazingly, as if out of nowhere, one of the greatest and most recognisable frontmen of all time has just unleashed, not one, but TWO huge new solo single releases. Mick Jagger, the vocalist for legendary rock band The Rolling Stones isn’t a stranger to solo work, with a previous four solo albums under his belt, the last being 2001’s ‘Goddess In The Doorway’, but now he’s spontaneously dropped two huge new singles on us, one called ‘England Lost’ and the other called ‘Gotta Get A Grip’ which both debuted only half an hour ago on Beats1 with Zane Lowe. They’re also both very politically driven, as Jagger commentates on the state of UK politics, our national uncertainty and the anxiety the common man is currently feeling whilst times continue to look less and less optimistic.
‘England Lost’ has that classic blues inspired Stones sound to it, featuring harmonicas and an endlessly smooth and slick drum beat, but it also features fragmented vocals and a breakbeat theme giving it a modern edge and freshness that sets it apart from his previous solo material, rendering it a rather interesting addition to Jagger’s solo repertoire. It’s daunting and dark, and despite us all being constantly reminded through the media that the country has gone entirely to shit as the conservative government continues to dodge doing their bit and oppress the working people, somehow Jagger has managed to enhance that doom and dread and manage to deliver a terrifying ly true perspective. When he sings “I tried to find England, but England’s lost…” I believe him. As wonderful as the track is, it altered my mood immediately. My direct excitement for new Mick Jagger material turned to a morose fear of the future. Thanks for that Mick… but that may well be the intention here. For those that still think Brexit is going to be a lucrative and profitable exercise, you may want to hear this.
‘Gotta Get A Grip’ then acts as a subtle upper to ‘England lost’ being a colossal downer. Reminding us to keep on keeping on and remain steadfast and positive even when the men at the top continually attempt to tear us down. With grittier guitars and a sexy beat to go with it, ‘Gotta Get A Grip’ remains as cool and edgy and is undoubtedly still as politically honest as you could ever wish to get, but it has a much more resilient idea to it and puts you back in the metaphorical drivers seat. It’s a whole ying and yang process and they fit together perfectly making complete sense of the double release.
Both tracks are brilliant, poignant and more than anything, incredibly exciting for any fan of good rock n roll, as we have brand new Mick Jagger to listen to and enjoy. When Keith Richards released his last solo album ‘Crosseyed Heart’ back in 2015, it became an instant classic and remains one of my favourite albums of the past five years. Can we expect an LP from the Stones frontman now? Only time will tell on that, but if we do, it might just be a politically charged masterpiece, and if there is anybody in the music world I respectfully want to take insight from, an icon like Mick Jagger fits the bill perfectly.
Words by Stuart Green (@mojo20_music)