On a superficial stylistic level, Some Girls fits right in line with the Rolling Stones‘ other recent releases. “Miss You,” for example, could be called this year’s “Hot Stuff.” And like many other Stones packages, the current LP includes a nod to the country genre (“Faraway Eyes”) plus a Motown cover (“Imagination”) and lots of hard rock.
Listen to Some Girls a few times, however, and you begin to appreciate the spirit, focus, and consistency of quality that make it more than just another Stones album.
The material rates among the most fully conceived and lyrically powerful work that the group has given us in years. Mick Jagger, moreover, sounds positively mesmerizing; and the instrumentation—highlighted by Ron Wood’s first major studio contributions—is a sheer delight.
Also welcome are the LP’s atypically frequent examples of the Stones’ sense of humor. “Miss You,” which manages the not inconsiderable task of meshing disco with real human emotion, contains a monologue that makes me smile every time I listen.
Whereas previous albums often evidenced straightfaced misogyny, moreover, it’s hard to imagine anyone getting upset over the digs here, which seem to poke fun not just at women but at the Stones’ earlier view of them.
The record is not without its shortcomings. While the aforementioned Motown cover is certainly amiable enough, I can’t help comparing it with the classic Temptations original; and by that standard, it falls short. I’m also disappointed by the absence of any “Moonlight Mile”/”Memory Motel”-styled ballads.
Of course, as Mick Jagger and his cohorts once noted, you can’t always get what you want. But sometimes, if you wait for the right album, you get what you need.