Rolling Stones, ‘Doom and Gloom’ – Song Review
Abstract pseudo-political lyrics and the best rock and roll rhythm section around drives the Rolling Stones‘ new song ‘Doom and Gloom’ through three meaty verses and one must-hear-live chorus. It’s a song that will stand up to the hits on the band’s new ‘Grrr!’ album when it’s released on Nov 13. Breathe easy. After seven years away from the studio, these legends still have it.
That moment of trepidation may not be deserved, but it was impossible to dismiss. Mick Jagger has proven in the supergroup Superheavy that his grip on a song is as tight as it was 20, 30 or 40 years ago. But we’ve all seen how time can chip away at raw talent. Ron Wood, Keith Richards and especially Charlie Watts sound just as good as Jagger.
“I had a dream last night I was piloting a plane / And all the passengers were drunk and insane,” Jagger sings to open the song. It’s a lyric that’s satisfyingly dangerous and still believable. His performance is the greatest stretch for the band as the arrangement stays true to the bluesy, hard-driving sound Stones fans have known for decades.
It takes a while to figure out what Jagger is talking about, however, and at the end one can be forgiven if he or she is still doing some head-scratching. “What’s it all about / Guess it just reflects my mood / Sitting in the dirt / Feeling kinda hurt / All I hear is doom and gloom / All is darkness in my room / Through the light your face I see / Baby take a chance / Baby won’t you dance with me,” Jagger sings during the chorus.
While it seems there is something of a loving sentiment in there, the final verse finds Jagger waxing poetic on the state of the world. “Fracking deep for oil but there’s nothing in the sump / There’s kids all picking at the garbage dump / I’m running out of water so I better prime the pump / I’m trying to stay sober but I end up drunk.”
If he wants to make a political statement, we’ll listen. On ‘Doom and Gloom’ he’s more raising awareness than choosing sides, so the performance isn’t nearly as polarizing as, say, Ted Nugent‘s recent work. Everything about this song fits the band today while staying true to who they were yesterday. Masterful production earns them another point on our scale.