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Seventeen Reviews - Overall Average Rating -   6.79 Tongues

(We are accepting fan reviews for this album once again, for a limited time)


By Craig
February 19, 2003
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A lot of critics (and Stones fans) didn't care for this album. I usually say this: try to imagine that you've never heard the Stones before. Or imagine that the Stones put this out in 1975 or 1980 or 1989. You might just hear a different album.
If you want the Stones hitting hard, listen to "Flip the Switch". If you want a great Stones ballad, try "Already Over Me", or "Always Suffering". Keith's "Thief In The Night" is one of the best things he's done. And songs like "Out Of Control", "Saint Of Me", and "Might As Well Get Juiced" would be considered Stones "classics" if they would have been released at a different time. If "Emotional Rescue" made it into the Top Five when it came out, imagine what one of these would have done. This is an underrated album that shows that the boys still had some sparks left as recently as 1997. It'd be nice to see a follow up.

To listen to some sound clips from BRIDGES TO BABYLON or to buy it click here: Bridges To Babylon [Reissue]

More fan reviews:

By Brandon Isaacs
February 18, 2003
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Overall, I think that Bridges to Babylon is definitely worth purchasing. Of the thirteen tracks on the album, most are very pleasant. These songs remind us of the earlier days such as Some Girls and Let It Bleed, but give us a taste of new material so that we are not bored for the old stuff. The reason I cannot give this album a full rating is because it is lacking nice packaging that many Stones fans are used to. What is with the booklet? The entire CD only contains one group picture of the band. I think they could have done just a little better than that. Did you also know that on the back of the CD, it says that track number 13 is five minutes and fifty-three seconds long? It is actually six minutes and fifty-three seconds long. They should have checked for all mistakes before putting the record on the shelves. But with its flaws, as all records have, I think this album is worth tapping into. This album is 'mature' Stones and may not be appropriate for young chidden.

By Jason Gilliand
October 22, 2002
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I have yet to understand why people don't like this album... Granted it's not Exile or Sticky Fingers, but it still has it's moments. I would tend to agree that's it's overproduced in area's ('Anybody Seen My Baby?') but there's some classic stuff on here.. 'Out of Control' sounds like Goats Head Soup era Stones and Keith is sounding pretty good. The guitar work is stellar. I think people are expecting the same ol' Stones records... this overall is a pretty solid record with a few songs that could've been dropped.

September 7, 2002
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Sometimes I have to laugh. Like the guy who said he just bought B2B and Houses of the Holy, and says B2B rocks comparatively. HA. See, that's pretty funny because it shows just what we're dealing with is a lot of newcomers who haven't learned to hear with their ears yet, because there is no way on this good planet that there is a 1 minute stretch on Houses that owes anything in comparison to this, wretched mess.

This is a bad album. Why? Even Keith knows it's bad. It's bad because Mick won't let the Stones be the Stones. He doesn't want to be with the Stones, other than to make money and be seen, so he makes the album with a bunch of other people instead. Nowhere is their the vocal harmonizing with Mick and Keith. This is a solo album. It sounds as artificially produced as Mick's She's the Boss.

Once in awhile Keith's tele would slash through this plastic overgrowth like a big scythe, but the swamp is overgrown with plastic. Bernie Fowler's backup vocals, a holdover from the noisy 80s, amount to loud shouting. There's no music here. I like Heavy D as much as the next man, but having him sit on one of your songs isn't going to make your music cool or current.

One must hunt, and one arrives at two or three songs. They are 'Saint of Me', 'Thief In The Nite', and 'Always Suffering'. These are the only ones where all the pop is dropped long enough to hear the Stones. And, "Losing Control" could have been a great song, but the production buries it. This album was a big mistake. If Mick is so averse to making a real Stones album, Keith should beg off. Instead of just hiring young guns, Mick and Keith need to get back to basics. Rent a place, live there for a few months, hammer out some really good music. As long as that isn't happening, we're going to continue to get junk.

By thijs den otter
August 15, 2002
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This is not the greatest Stones-album ever made. Bridges to Babylon has to many tracks that are only 'so-so'. A song like 'Flip The Switch' is okay, but in the rich tradition of strong opening-tracks this one just can't compete with 'Start Me Up' or even 'One Hit'. I'm not even comparing it to 'love Is Strong' or 'Rocks Off'. There are some songs on Bridges that I just skip. I don't care much for 'Already Over Me' or 'How Can I Stop'. In fact, there are only two songs that really stand out: 'Anybody Seen My Baby?' is a good rock song with a nice paranoia touch to it. Saint Of Me is the best song on the album, and one of the real treats on the last tour. So, should people buy this record? Yes, but not if they are only interested in the best that the Stones have to offer. These people should purchase any record between 1968 and 1973, buy Some Girls and Voodoo Lounge and leave Bridges to Babylon be.

By t-roy
July 18, 2002
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All Stones fans know the feeling when they get a new Stones album- can't wait to hear it- how does it stack up, etc. Inevitably, the expectations for a Stones album are so high that it's almost impossible for the band to deliver. And this album is no exception. This album fails to deliver.

"Flip The Switch" is the obligatory "look we're back" song but anyone looking for a "One Hit to the Body" or "Brown Sugar" better not hold their breath - this sounds like old men tapping their feet. "Anybody Seen My Baby" is decent (the Biz Markie rap sample is cool) and "Saint of Me" is the best song they've done in years without Keith (Jagger continues his reputation of writing kick ass riffs for the Stones- he wrote Brown Sugar, ya know). But this album feels thrown together with too many cooks. The bass playing is all over the place. I know Bill never played on all the tracks either, but this is ridiculous. Too many producers, too many session cats, and no cohesiveness. And since we won't be getting a brand new album anytime soon,  I suggest you pull out that Hot Rocks double CD. You'll need it.

By Johnathan
April 16, 2002
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This album is yet another late career disappointment. It seems the band has lost it's musical soul. Where is the blues, country, rock&roll and funk that have been the Stones' trademark over the years? Unfortunately, it seems to this huge fan that Mick is way to pre-occupied with trying to sound current. The rap part on ANYBODY SEEN MY BABY destroys a fairly interesting groove. The techno rock/slop of JUICED is an awful experiment by Mick that could have resulted into a fine bluesy cut if kept simple with Keith. I know he hates the track! Throwaway rockers like TOO TIGHT, FLIP THE SWITCH, and LOWDOWN (sound's like an outtake from one of Keith's solo projects) put the boys' in a desperate light. Tepid ballads like ALREADY OVER ME and the abysmal HOW CAN I STOP are total shit! The only quality tunes on the whole bloody mess are SAINT OF ME, ALWAYS SUFFERING and THIEF IN THE NIGHT. ANYBODY SEEN MY BABY is OK, but very trendy. GUNFACE rocks hard but is very shallow lyrically. Finally OUT OF CONTROL is a good song that has been over-produced. Would someone please bring Jimmy Miller back from the dead! The band still kicks ass live but they have not put a high quality album since TATTOO YOU

By Kevin
April 4, 2002
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When I first ever hear a Stones album in its entirety, it was this one. "Flip The Switch" roared on the stereo and is one of the hardest things they have done in this decade. "Anybody Seen My Baby" can best be appreciated on a hot summer day and being separated from the person you love, it's got that vibe."Low Down" is a so so rocker that feels like filler material. "Already Over Me" is their best ballad since "Waiting On a Friend". "Gun Face" is a good drum track with Jagger continuing his use of the word "gun" for a lyrical statement. "You Don't Have To Mean It" is fairly disappointing and feels out of place. "Out Of Control" is probably the most powerful statement on the album. The song has an aura of mystery, lust and violence. "Saint of Me" is the perfect song to follow "Out Of Control" it goes from darkness to light and rocks out. The guitar solo sounds like a crying angel it's so good."Might As Well Get Juiced" is a little too over produced and it's a ridiculous song. "Always Suffering" is another good ballad that makes you choke up. "Too Tight" has Jagger playing the role of the macho bad boy, wise with age and throwing in a little profanity to get his point across. The last two songs are Keef -sung ballads, they aren't great but they're not bad. Overall this is a much better album then most people say. Cut out some of the filler and you get a modern day Stones masterpiece.

By the chipper
March 26, 2002
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There's plenty to complain about with this one. For one thing, there are more producers than there are boys in the band, and the Stones almost get overwhelmed by all all the guest musicians and backup singers. Whatever happened to the days when they did it all themselves, with occasional help from a Bobby Keys or a Nicky Hopkins? I've also got to say there are four songs I seldom play and cannot recommend: the obnoxious techno-rocker "Might As Well Get Juiced", the Caribbean flavored "You Don't Have To Mean It" (which sounds too much like Blondie's "The Tide Is High" in my opinion), and the two Keith ballads that close out the album, "Thief In The Night" and "How Can I Stop". As for lead single "Anybody Seen My Baby?", it's catchy and sultry, but the "rap" section spliced into the middle of it is the Stones' most embarrassing moment since the female vocals in '80's "Where The Boys Go". But you know what? This is the Stones' best album since Some Girls, because the remaining songs are just plain awesome. "Flip The Switch" and "Low Down" are scorchers, and I defy anyone not to pound along with Charlie Watts' drum fill in the last verse of "Gunface". "Out Of Control" conjures up that inner-city, early '70's Motown feel on the verses, then explodes on the chorus--this was reportedly one of highlights of the "Bridges" concert tour. The two Mick Jagger ballads, "Already Over Me" (lost love) and "Always Suffering" (more universal in scope), are truly beautiful songs. The atmospheric "Saint Of Me" contains Mick's greatest lyrics since "Sympathy For The Devil", and finally there's my personal favorite "Too Tight", which would've made a great single if not for the inclusion of the dreaded "F" word! All in all, an incredible album, especially considering these guys were in their mid-fifties when they recorded it. In answer to Keith's album-closing "How Can I Stop" can't! Too many Stones fans are waiting for the next one

By Anthony
September 22, 2001
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B2B got openly criticized for being and obvious Mick versus Keith disc. It is clearly obvious which are Mick's tunes and which are Keith's. Still I think they worked in harmony although Keith did not agree with some of Jagger's decisions as far as some of the experimentation's that were done on some of Mick's tunes. Another low point was bringing in Waddy Wachtel. I have much respect for him, but it was an open slap in the face to Ronnie, who had not been on top of his game due to his alcohol intake.

We open with the Stones fastest tune ever: Keith's "Flip The Switch". Great guitars, a typical Keithian guitar hook, Charlie's domineering Snare and Jagger urgently doling out the lyrics. Great BU vox, but nothing the band could not have done on their own. Instead we have too many guest musicians. But the tune kicks ass! Followed by the midtempo, "Anybody Seen My Baby", which features a gorgeous chorus. There is an almost embarrassing "Rap" interlude that fortunately does not include Mick himself. A guest rapper takes over and for 30 agonizing seconds almost spoils a perfect tune. Next comes a trademark Keith riff that ushers in "Low Down". The BU vox on this one are astonishing.Very much reminiscent of the Winos. Keith's guitar rules on this one. "Already Over Me" is my least fave of the bunch, even though it features some lovely playing by Ronnie, but it is a typical Jagger ballad, where one upon first listen can almost predict every chord change. Keith's obligatory Reggae tune follows. It has horns, 'chakking' piano and several (too many) Reggae guitars. But Keith's vocal pulls it all together to make it a really lovely tune. The live-in-the-studio recorded "Gunface" that shows no mercy in it's grit and then "Out Of Control", which is a Temptation type, intense groove that showcases Jagger at his best. The chorus then comes in supercharged and has Jagger just letting it rip.This quickly became the centerpiece for the "B2B" Tour. Another fave is "Saint Of Me, on this they unnecessarily looped Charlie's drums, when he very well could have played the part. It was part of the experimenting Mick was doing with the Dust Bros. producing, where there really was nothing to produce Dust Bros style. This was one of Keith's peeves. Jagger wrote this wonderful tune with a hell of a chorus and fortunately it turned out great. The Dust Bros do come into their own on the next Synth charged "Might As Well Get Juiced". It only features minimal guitars, mainly Slide and showcases Charlie on a great Ride Cymbal-Snare beat. But the revolving Synths really are the stars on this one. Jagger gives a fine vocal performance. In a typical Stones twist the intensity of the last few tunes is followed by a gentle Country ballad. The verses sound like they were written by Mick for Keith. Three minutes of pure Keith rock'n roll follow "Too Tight". It is one of those grooves Keith can whip from his hat at any given moment. The disc ends on a very surprising note. We have become used to Keith ending their latest discs with a ballad. This time we get two! A double shot of two superb songs. "Thief In The Night" which segueways straight into "How Can I Stop?" Really an amazing piece of music. Keith's vocals are delivered very up close. It is very smoky and jazzy. The highpoint is the outro with a haunting Sax solo that culminates in Blondie Chaplin's piano and Charlie's cymbal, together with the Sax to create a gigantic finale, unlike the Stones have ever recorded.

Why did I give this disc a 9.0, even though I seem to be criticizing a lot? Because the songs are so damn good, no matter what the circumstances and show a new high in songwriting maturity.

By Alex Short
November 29, 2000
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This album doesn't have the edge of Voodoo Lounge but that isn't saying much. The album has several nice touches in the form of some of the better songs, but god are some of the songs bad. The worst being Keiths vocal effort on the closing track 'How Can I Stop'. Yes please do stop Keith. The highs on this album include the opening rocker 'Flip The Switch' which shows that although the Stones have gradually gotten worse over the past twenty years they're still capable of producing great opening tracks on their albums. 'Anybody Seen My Baby' isn't too bad and neither is 'Gunface' or 'Low Down'. The latter actually been a pretty good song. Then come some bad ones. I cant even remember the names of some of them. 'Saint Of Me' is a pretty good song but not great, but 'Too Tight' is. This proves the band have still got it, though only in patches. I think the days of then doing truly great albums with few bad songs are over. All I think about at the moment however is when the Stones are going to cut a new album. Come on its been three years now boys.


By R. Janssen
November 20, 2000
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I just don’t understand why a lot of people say that Bridges to Babylon shouldn’t been made. Those people say that the Stones should stop these days. They compare this album with Exile on Main Street, Let it Bleed and Sticky Fingers. O.K., I also think that those albums are much better than Bridges to Babylon, but it isn’t fair to compare it with the three best albums ever made, because there will never be another band again who will make such great albums. So if you think in that way, Bridges to Babylon isn’t a good album. But if another band made this album, everybody would say that it’s one of the best albums ever made.
I think that Bridges to Babylon is one of the best Stones albums. Off course Keith, Ron, and Charlie are fantastic (as always), but Mick Jagger's voice is even more beautiful here than on the other nineties albums. That really amazed me. When I heard 'Always Suffering' for the first time, I cried for a few minutes. I just couldn’t believe that his voice was still that beautiful. Also 'Already Over Me' was a surprise. Mick Jagger sings from his heart and you can feel it inside you. And there are more great songs here. 'Flip the Switch' and 'Saint of Me' have a great rock sound. Keith Richards proves that he can sing just fine on two great slow songs, 'Thief in the Night' and 'How can I Stop'.
Where a lot of people say that Bridges to Babylon shouldn’t be made, I want to thank the Stones for giving me such a great
album. THANKS, YOU GUYS!!!

By christophoros
April 11, 2000
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Why does this always get called "a failed try to buy hipness" and so on? The albums has got loops similar to the ones on UNDERCOVER, however, it' s better, as they have used new technologies very carefully and respectfully, so that they only give a new freshness to the material. After having listened to the album, you will think, that it' s another masterpiece of the Rolling Stones through and through, and that you have newly discovered them. On FLIP THE SWITCH the new sounds move the rhythm straight forward, and from the lyrics ("I' m not going to burn in hell I cased the joint and I know it well" "Lethal injection is a luxury I wanna give it to the whole jury") it then goes back to the good old times of EXILE ON MAIN STREET. Not only from the length, they here have made an epos adequate to it. I DON' T KNOW what so many people have against ANYBODY SEEN MY BABY?, on it again their ability to write simple pop songs shines. LOW DOWN ROCKS magnificently. On ALREADY OVER ME you can hear for the first time the more reflective and still unbelievably strong Stones from the album. GUNFACE in contrast is a hardrocker with great slide inlays from Ronnie, one of the hardest songs they have ever done. YOU DON' T HAVE TO MEAN It is a joyful reggae. OUT OF CONTROL must be the key piece from the album, as they have the BRIDGES in the title from it. And it makes you cry, even if you know, that who sings it there actually lies and has reached everything in fact. Great, that the Stones as one of the few of that old and successful bands have still kept their street credibility. No band on earth ever will be able to play songs like this better! SAINT OF ME is 1997's SHINE A LIGHT, but it too is a song on it' s own with its mystic, religious touch. MIGHT AS WELL GET JUICED is the most experimental number, next to synthie sounds you even find a return to the blues roots. ALWAYS SUFFERING and THIEF IN THE NIGHT: just beautiful, touching ballads, that show the new Stones, who are now adult after all those years, but still full of

By Steve Cronen
January 31, 2000
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What is so bad about this album? I got it just recently, along with Led Zep's Houses of the Holy, and this one kicks way more ass.
From the very opening of "Flip the Switch," you know that the Stones are back in full glory. Charlie Watts and Mick Jagger rule this album with an iron fist. Watts shows off his best drumming since I don't know when. Mick is all over the place, with not only his best vocals in years, but with a plethora of finely-played instruments. His wah-wah guitar on "Out Of Control" makes me cringe with delight. Almost every song is a keeper. "Flip the Switch" is my personal favorite, and I was hooked from the moment the riff began. "Anybody Seen My Baby?" is, without a doubt, one of the most hitworthy singles ever put out by the boys. I don't care if it sounds like k.d. lang... I hate her, anyway. The lyrics ring so true with me and with many people who've lost love. I love Mick's ballads "Already Over Me" and "Always Suffering." Keith roars in with - count 'em- three tunes. "You Don't Have To Mean It" it my favorite, because frankly, it's downright hilarious. "Thief in the Night" is okay, a little slow, Keef tries to pull off another "All About You" and "Sleep Tonight" with "How Can I Stop." It doesn't quite capture the majesty of those earlier recordings.
Otherwise, it's a kick-ass album. "Out Of Control" sounds awesome, and even better live. "Saint of Me" is an instant classic, showing that the Stones, no matter what people may think of them or say about them, will always keep rockin'. "You'll never make a saint of me." Amen, Mick. "Might As Well Get Juiced" is funky to the point of dancing.
My only main complaint? Too many freaking people on this album! C'mon, guys, if you're gonna bring in other guys to play for you, they might as well be well-established veterans. I was glad to see the likes of Billy Preston and Jim Keltner gracing the liner notes, but how many songs does Waddy Wachtel have to be on? Or Danny Saber? And what's with all the producers!? The Stones are back, nonetheless. Don't you forget it.

By Chris
July 14, 1999
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The Stones latest release is, in my opinion, one of the best studio recordings they have done in some time (probably since Some Girls). Needless to say, I was surprised the wrath the recording received from Stones fans, and not surprised that the wider musical audience has some appreciation for what the boys were trying to do (witness the Grammy nomination for the album). Like all good Stones albums, Bridges is relatively diverse in the writing, musical form and musicianship. The album begins with the rocker Flip the Switch, a song which clearly highlights Keith hasn't lost his touch in laying down an aggressive, antsy and impatient riff. When promoting Bridges, Keith told journalists that 'Switch' was the quickest Stones song ever recorded, and it's hard to argue with him. Anybody Seen my Baby is a soaring ballad in which Mick's vocal track is sensational, but the backing vocals hold the song back. Fellas, dump those studio hangers and let Keith sing exclusive back-up vocals. The result would be a rougher and more genuine ballad although 'Baby' is still a good track. Lowdown is OK, Mick letting off some steam around a standard Richards' riff, Already over me a song similar to 'Baby' is effect and quality. The album's fifth track, Gunface', is, in my opinion the musical highpoint of the album. Firstly, the Stones employed the marching drum beat and put it way out front in production. This, combined with some fericious lyrics (I taught her everything... I taught her how to eat) gives the song some real menace. Here the Stones are angry and dangerous- at their best. Ronnie's slide playing, of which I am almost always critical, is spectacular on this song and Jagger snarls the lyrics with conviction. Great song. Of the rest of the album, Thief in the Night, Out of Control and Might as well get juiced standout. Thief is such a Keith song, rough, musing, drifting with purpose. Out of Control is fantastic (even better live) while Juiced really works for me, particularly Mick's harp solo. Overall, the album's very good.

By: D. Bowers
May 30, 1999
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Bridges To Babylon had all the right ingredients but a lack of focus. Or should I say to much focus. If you stripe away all the Studio gimmicks, drum loops, and get rid of 90% of the people who were hired to bring a fresh new sound to the band, you would have a decent album. I give to band credit for attempting to have a fresh new sound but they went about it the wrong way. I think they were trying to be so fresh and new that you get a sense that they were holding on to tight. Being the Biggest rock and roll band in the world comes with a little pressure. They have to live up to there name which shows they were trying to hard on this album. This band still has the magic of making awesome music. To achieve this they should go to some deserted island or lock themselves up in a secluded cabin somewhere for about a month with no outside stimulation and see what they come up with. The problem is the band members are not in there twenties anymore when there lives completely revolved around music. They treat there albums like a job that needs to be done to complete the contract with the record company to make another ten million off there next album. They either should call it quits and say it was fun while it lasted or put all of there differences aside and say "hey chaps lets say screw all of the bulls**t and lets get down to what we really love deep in our hearts which is to make great rock and roll." If you want to listen to Bridges to Babylon the way it should have been recorded, listen to the new live album No Security. The tracks on that album which were on Babylon reach a whole new level when striped down to there raw form with a little bit of balls behind the songs. My feeling is if they would have recorded the songs in the studio in a live setting this album would be one of there best. Next time you listen to the album don't pass it off as a bunch of crap. Try and listen under all the studio gizmos and over production and hear the raw elements to the songs. The hooks are still there its just sad that you really have to concentrate to grasp them. Actually I have two ratings for this album. The first would be 5.0 as the album sits right now. If it would of had the focus and not the over production, I would give the album 7.5 for effort. Hey I got an idea, next time you guys decide to record another album, take a mobile recording unit, lock yourselves in a castle somewhere in Europe where no one can find you, bring along a few bottles of Jack Daniels and some other assorted mind altering substances and get down to business. They need to get together and bond like they used to. It just seems like they are a bunch of solo artists who happen to be recording on the same album. It just doesn't work when Mick tells Keith "hey man I can only be in the studio for about ten min. today because I need to contribute to the next Pepsi add coming out".

By Rank Outsider
Dec 6, 1998
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When the Rolling Stones set out to make their latest studio album, BRIDGES TO BABYLON, they were very clear about their intentions NOT to recreate "another EXILE ON MAIN ST." Judging the album from this unduly restricted perspective, it may be considered therefore to be a tremendous success. Although at 60+ grueling minutes it is the second longest Stones studio album next to their epic EXILE, it bottoms out roundly at the opposite end of the ratings spectrum, being arguably the Stones' worst studio album ever. Its thirteen tracks remain an atrocity to the revivification the band experienced with their previous studio album, VOODOO LOUNGE --- and it deservingly possesses a lackluster sales record.

Glaringly overproduced with computer gimmickry (a la the Dust Brothers et al.), what otherwise would be solid Stones songs are artistically comprised with newfangled techniques, perhaps most notably drum-looping the back-beats of Charlie Watts, one of the greatest drummers in rock. And, speaking of the rhythm section, there are more "guest bassists" on this album than the average number of groupies Bill Wyman could seduce on a lucky afternoon. Multiple producers, multiple bassists, multiple perspectives of how to go about producing this album (courtesy of Mick and Keith) all contribute to a disunified effect --- as two solo albums were fused together --- in which the whole is far less than the sum of its parts.

While "Flip the Switch" and "Too Tight" are mediocre rockers, they cannot atone for the embarrassment of tracks such as "Anybody Seen My Baby?" (a veritable rip-off of K.D. Lang's "Constant Craving" --- complete with a non-Jagger rap section), or the pointless receptiveness of twin tracks "Already Over Me" and "Always Suffering" (perhaps a more appropriate album title), or the anemic bathos of the Keith Richard's compositions, "You Don't Have to Mean It," "Thief in the Night," and "How Can I Stop?" Even BRIDGES TO BABYLON's musical centerpiece, "Saint of Me," is condemned to an aesthetic limbo --- both by the conspicuous absence of Keith Richards and by the ever-annoying presence of tin-canned drums. For a more satisfying experience of the BRIDGES TO BABLYON songs, the live versions of these tunes on the NO SECURITY C.D. are strongly recommended.

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Keno's mini review, song list, lyrics and more info on BRIDGES TO BABYLON

Stones Fans Album Reviews

To listen to some sound clips from BRIDGES TO BABYLON or to buy, click here: Bridges To Babylon [Reissue]