Undercover (1983)


 
1.Undercover of the Night 2.She Was Hot 3.Tie You Up (The Pain of Love) 4.Wanna Hold You 5.Feel on Baby 6.Too Much Blood 7.Pretty Beat Up 8.Too Much 9.All the Way Down 10.It Must Be Hell

 

The Stones were able to skate through the seventies without severe damage in terms of musical influence. They tackled disco and dance music very admirably and although they had a few miscues, they proved they were the lasting real thing if anyone had any doubts. The 1980's were a little bit more difficult. In the era of politcal correctness, conservatism, skinny ties, bad hairstyles and synthesized new wave music, it was going to be hard for these guys to experiement without falling apart at the seams. For better or worse, this album, they decide not to embrace anything that the infamous decade had to offer. What is sad, is that they seem to fight the decade by making their music more offensive and in-your-face than anything they've ever done before. This record leaves you a little sick to your stomach. It's almost as if they're saying to us, "Not only will we not conform, but we'll stick our figurative middle finger at you."

There are a few things on here that are worth the price of admission. Undercover of the Night is undoubtably the strongest song on the record. With it's pulsating rhythms and latin-american dance beat, it gives the listener a good tune to dance to, while leaving the whole "disco" thing behind. She Was Hot is as good as anything the band had released, and sounds par for the course in terms of quality. Also good is the Keith sung Wanna Hold You that is ironically the least offensive thing here (being that it's a Keith song, that is).

Other than this, things deteriorate in a bad way. Had they not been so disgusting, this good have been a bit more settling. Take, for example Too Much Blood - this song has another good dance beat that begins to rival Undercover of the Night until about half-way through the track when Mick goes into a monologue about cutting up a girl and stashing her in the refrigerator. What were they thinking?? Nothing else is quite that bad, but music-wise they actually take several steps down. Tie You Up (The Pain of Love) sounds like a rally cry at an S&M pep rally and Feel on Baby is monotonously awful.

The rest of the album isn't any better. Mostly forgettable songs with "edgy" lyrics that are just outright uncomfortable for even a Stones fan to sing along to. This was a definite example of sleaze over substance.


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