Picks and Pans Review: Undercover
updated 01/09/1984 AT 01:00 AM EST
•originally published 01/09/1984 AT 01:00 AM EST
Call it Rasty Rock. This new Stones LP is a combination of Caribbean-flavored raunchy, rhythmic and randy strains. It harks back to the Altamont era, when these perennial juvenile delinquents were sympathizing with Beelzebub. The opening cut, Undercover of the Night, cracks like a whip, with menacing lyrics both explicitly political ("100,000 disparos lost in the jails in South America") and phantasmagorical ("Down in the bars the girls are painted blue/Done up in lace, done up in rubber"). Fueled by the pounding of Bill Wyman's bassist instincts, this kind of rock 'n' roll could eat Flashdance for breakfast. The debauchery also includes She Was Hot, Tie You Up (The Pain of Love) and Pretty Beat Up. At 40, Jagger sounds half his age, and half his IQ, when he rambles on blithely about dismemberment in Too Much Blood. The production by Chris Kimsey, Jagger and Keith Richards is tight and inventive, while preserving the essential energy these 10 songs need to roll with the verbal punches. It's a brazen batch of tunes; no apologies are asked, none are given.