Monday, December 18, 2006

2006: 15 of the Best. #5...

#5 - Primal Scream - Country Girl

From: Riot City Blues
Label: Sony
Released: August 22, 2006
Buy it: Here.

What, pray tell, does Primal Scream owe us? For about 20 years now, they've been one of music's most entertaining chameleons - jumping from hard rock to jangly pop to acid psychedelia, retro-fitted Stones rock and then apocalyptic style industrial music. Yet, when Riot City Blues made its debut this year, critics pounced on the album's retreat back to that Stones-rock ilk, finding it categorically disappointing seeing as how their last effort, 2002's Evil Heat had been such a simultaneously alarming and promising look forward. Now, I've lent an ear to every turn in the Scream's journey, and while both Evil Heat and XTRMNTR were revolutionary changes of pace, they did rob the band of Bobby Gillespie's penchant for fronting a balls-out proper rock song, and at times doing a better Mick than Mick himself (whose own ability, it seems, deteriorates exponentially with each Stones tour). And for however much you respect the likes of Evil Heat, XTRMNTR, Vanishing Point and Screamadelica, don't tell me Gillespie didn't have you rocking in the aisles on tracks like "Rocks," "Jailbird" and "Movin' on Up." "Country Girl" is simply another one for that load - a Saturday-night-tip-over-the-table-'cos-you're-drunk-and-it's-glorious anthem, with a mandolin solo and one of the Scream's catchiest choruses since... well, "Rocks" and "Jailbird," really. Poor man's Stones? Disappointing regression? Bollocks. "Country Girl" is a great song, and after 20 years of impressing us, they can do what they want - they hardly even owe us something this fantastic.


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