Tuesday, October 10, 2023

The Rolling Stones Bring the 80s Back With Lady Gaga and Stevie Wonder in Tow

Trying to remember when a really good piano soul tune was released can be difficult, and that’s why The Rolling Stones’ new single ‘Sweet Sounds of Heaven’ is such a welcome track. 

The perfect song to both sway to like a church-goer and blast in the car, this song brings everything much loved about the 80s to the forefront: soul, a rolling, foot-tapping melody, a blend of powerful vocals, and Stevie Wonder on the keys.

Miraculously, and despite the odds, Mick Jagger doesn’t sound a day over 25. That was first made apparent with the release of their single 'Angry' three weeks before this one, but 'Sweet Sounds of Heaven' leans less into the rockstar theatrics that The Rolling Stones are proudly known for, and instead strips everything back to let Jagger's voice shine through. Don't be mistaken; those iconic ad-libs and vocal fries are still stars in this show, but a more refined character also takes the stage.

Lyrically, the song is pretty simple. Relishing in smelling the sweet sounds of heaven, Jagger languidly sings of laughing, crying, and enjoying his life whilst he has it. Although the singer continues to dazzle fans with his stamina and quick wit, there's no denying his age – but this celebration of life and soft acceptance is definitely something to admire. 

Although her entrance is gradual, Lady Gaga's addition to the song is extremely well-placed. Known for vocal versatility, Lady Gaga's powerful voice adds an extradimensional element to Jagger's crooning vocals, with harmonies that dance along both the fretboard and the keys. Speaking of keys, it would be criminal not to mention Stevie Wonder's contribution to the track. Who better to replicate the anathematic sounds of the 80s than one of the best pianists of the times? Delightfully rhythmic yet surprisingly emotional, the seven-minute track almost doesn't feel that long thanks to Wonder's ability to tell a story through his instruments. Followed right along by Keith Richards on guitar, the song is well-rounded, purposeful, and an absolute joy to listen to.

All in all, this star-studded trio have undeniable talent, and combing them has resulted in a track that is both reminiscent of The Rolling Stone's early days and a testament to new ventures with artists young and old. The release of the band's album 'Hackney Diamonds', which is set to be released on October 20th, will likely bring more of this energy, and that's something for any Rolling Stones fan to get excited about. 

Sasha Semjonova

Image: 'Sweet Sounds of Heaven' Official Single Cover

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