BLURB-O-RAMA FT. THE ROLLING STONES, NEIL YOUNG, STING AND BON JOVI

The year-end has witnessed a slew of new releases from classic rockers eager to demonstrate that rock ’n’ roll is still as vital as ever. Or to show their fans that they’re still alive (!)

THE ROLLING STONES – BLUE & LONESOME

An all-covers album from the Stones pays tribute to the blues masters that inspired them over 50 years ago. Recorded in three days and featuring mainly Chicago blues, the Stones provide faithful renditions of classics by Willie Dixon, Howlin’ Wolf and Memphis Slim, among others. At this point in their careers, this makes total sense, as their new original material has not been very exciting in recent years. For diehards only. http://www.rollingstones.com/

Buy now: Amazon | iTunes

NEIL YOUNG – PEACE TRAIL

One of the most prolific rockers out there – Peace Trail is Young’s 37th studio album – Young’s music always sounds consistently fresh, mainly because he has remained true to his muse throughout his career. Working with Jim Keltner (drums) and Paul Bushnell (bass), Young recorded the album in four days and the songs have an edgy, raw sound. Yes, it’s an acquired taste and we doubt if hipsters will get into this (except maybe the highly relevant “My New Robot”) but if you love Neil Young then you will find much to enjoy here. www.neilyoung.com

Buy now: Amazon | iTunes

STING – 57TH AND 9TH

His first rock album in 13 years, Sting has been quoted at wanting the music to have a sense of urgency. In fact, he has described the album having a spontaneous feel, featuring “a lot of rock ‘n’ roll” with themes of searching, travelling, the road and the pull of the unknown. Does he succeed? Yes and no. Superficially, it’s a pop-rock album but the songs are fairly generic, as if Sting has forgotten how to write rock music? “50,000” (dedicated to the rockers who have fallen this past year) and “One Fine Day” (about climate change) are the standout tracks for us.

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BON JOVI – THIS HOUSE IS NOT FOR SALE

Bon Jovi’s first studio album without former lead guitarist Richie Sambora and the first to feature the band’s new lead guitarist Phil X but the band still does what they do best – rock anthems you can sing along to. From the opening title track (about integrity) onwards, Bon Jovi keeps the songwriting fairly safe and the faithful hordes will thoroughly enjoy songs like “Living with the Ghost” and “The Devil’s in the Temple”. It’s all at the poppier end of rock ’n’ roll and lacking any real edge but what did you expect from Bon Jovi? https://www.bonjovi.com/

Buy now: Amazon | iTunes 

… still there’s more …