The Rolling Stones
Blue & Lonesome
Interscope

For their first studio release in more than a decade, slinky-hipped septuagenarians The Rolling Stones return to where they began, more than 50 years ago: the blues. Recorded in just three days, Blue & Lonesome, the follow-up to 2005’s better-than-expected A Bigger Bang, is an enthusiastic collection of 12 covers – some of which date all the way back to the 1950s – and the sound of the “world’s greatest live rock ’n’ roll band” rocking out with gay abandon. While it might not be the fresh material Stones fans have longed for (that’s on the way, apparently), Jagger, Richards and Co haven’t sounded so freewheeling and together in years, as they tackle songs by blues legends Jimmy Reed, Willie Dixon and Howlin’ Wolf. Guitar legend Eric Clapton shows up to trade licks with Richards on Everybody Knows About My Good Thing and Jagger, in particular, sounds energised. Maybe it’s simply because he’s not having to prance around on sore knees, but his voice dominates these sleazy jams like he was born to sing the blues.