Cortlyn’s Time Travels: The Rolling Stones’ “Aftermath” Review

We haven’t had one of these for a while. I should get better about that since it’s one of my features on the site, but other things have taken priority to this particular type of post here on Music Unlabeled. Now at this point I have done nothing but fetch the album art for tonight’s Time Travel, so we’re about to get started and try and get this in before dinner time. This will more than likely be a ride, so without further ado, let’s get into the feature for today. I actually chose it because I knew I’d have access to it through spotify, and then because it was only eleven tracks long.

The first track on this album is Paint It Black, which starts off with an echoing and slightly hypnotic guitar that quickly gave way to a mix of slightly more upbeat mix of instruments, mixing in vocals with a slight arabianesque tilt to the music. The more melodic part of the song switched every so often with a heavier, more rhythm driven tune, mixing the two as the song reached it’s natural end. The second track, Stupid Girl, started with a very bubbly melody with vocals that quickly dominated the song, contrasting from the bubbly melody of the instruments. As a whole, this second track didn’t really stand out to me, and I found myself really wanting the third song to start. The third track, Lady Jane, started with a really soft piano like melody, overlayed with a slightly scratchy sounding stringed instrument. Over all, there seemed to be a sort of medieval inspired ballad which may have won it some points from me, but before I could fully decide, it was time for the fourth track. Under My Thumb had a quicker pace to it than Lady Jane. It made a good balance on the album, though only one song had really stood out to me by that point.

The fifth song, Doncha Bother Me, switched to a slightly twangier sound in the overall music, with the vocals blending into the background a bit at the beginning, but slowly becoming more obvious as the song progressed. The harmonicas in the middle part of the song helped it to stand out against the rest of the tracks, but the song resumed its original start for the little amount of time before the sixth track. Think starts off quietly, with melodic sounding guitars that lead into the vocals. Everything seemed to be a ways off and I’m not sure if that was the intent of the song or if I just happened to come across an odd recording? Think was overall a relaxing song despite the energy it possessed. It came across a lot simpler than the other songs on the album, and it used it’s differences incredibly well to actually be one of the songs that held my attention for a decent period of time. Flight 505 marks the seventh song on the album, and it starts off with the higher notes of a piano leading into a great melody before the guitars, drums, and vocals arrived in the song. The song was incredibly energetic, and it was quite busy instrument wise, blending a bunch of sounds that I couldn’t identify by ear alone at points. This seventh track brought the energy back to a crescendo, though it didn’t hit me til the end that it was mostly an instrument jam for the majority of time it played. The eighth song on the album, High and Dry, starts of with a soft cacophony of harmonicas and other instruments, driving up the more country and folksy feel of the song by the time the vocals started and continued the feel of the song. The vocals were hard to understand for the most part, and the song overall was a miss for me.

The ninth song on the album, It’s not Easy, starts off building up into a quick jam that leads into the vocals, balancing all the aspects of the song easily, making it a really intriguing song to listen to. It’s not Easy has the promise of a song that has a variety of things to be noticed on a variety of listen throughs. The tenth and second to last song, I Am Waiting, is another that starts off quiet and builds into a strange blend of melody and vocal harmonies. Its another that’s a stark stand out from the other songs on the album because of the style it keeps for a good majority of the song, growing excited and then leveling out again. It’s a perfect, relaxing lead up to the final and longest song on the album. Going home is one of those songs that looks discouraging at a single glance, being that it’s eleven minutes long. It makes up for this by starting off with a really melodic tune that leads up into the vocals as the song continues to add other features to the backing music, and the vocals take a journey through a variety of cadences and styles. The song is a blend of a variety of things, and that makes it feel not quite as long as it’s listed as. There is a point where it seems like it’s going to end, but carries on taking the momentum the song had built and drawing it out for a little too long. It starts to speed up towards the end, but at the point it had already lost my attention and nothing that played in the song was really working to grab it again.

All in all, I’m sure the Aftermath is someone’s favorite album, but it certainly isn’t mine. It’s worth a listen if you’re looking into the bands that are consider classics and founders of the rock genre and music scene as we know it, but it really didn’t capture my interests at all. Perhaps I’ll fare better with the other album by The Rolling Stones I have marked down to cover in yet another edition of Time Travels.

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