Friday, May 14, 2004

Kid Rock's "Jackson, Mississippi" seems of another place and time - said place and time being late-night FM radio circa 1975. Here, the Kid effortlessly slides/sidles from sweet, strung-out multitracked Allmanisms into bluesy, rifftastic hard rock of the purest mid-'70s vintage while singing a somewhat convoluted lyric ("I feel like Jackson, Mississippi"? As my highschool English teachers would have asked, Why?) which fits in perfectly with the decade's ethos, seemingly (that decade, again, being the '70s - talk about a man out of time). "Jackson" is a nearly flawless single, easily Rock's finest since "American Bad Ass," but cut from another cloth altogether. Where "Bad Ass" was pure flash, a satin baseball jacket, "Jackson" is thick, durable corduroy. A-

I find it fascinating that All Music's Stephen Thomas Erlewine refers to the Rolling Stones' "She's So Cold" (in his review of Emotional Rescue) as a "revamped Chuck Berry rocker." I find it fascinating because the more I hear it, the more I hear it as the Stones' kinda-sorta take on new wave (it did come out in 1980). Not only does it hit my ears as new wavish, though, it's simultaneously of its time yet seemingly not of the Stones themselves. The drums, of course, are Charlie Watts at his most reliable, and the guitar riffs sound like Keef sleepwalking. [Don't misunderstand me: Keith sleepwalking is better than 99% of guitarists wide awake.] But there's something inherently Stonesy missing here, something that seems oh-so phoned-in. Maybe that's just Mick's laziness showing through, but whatever it is, it works. "She's So Cold" may be the least Stonesy of all of the Stones' singles, and works a charm for it. A-

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