Superheavy – Superheavy review

Posted on 19 September 2011
By Matt Barden
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Supergroups are a dime a dozen. From the ridiculous (Chickenfoot, Audioslave) to the sublime (Wu-tang, Crosby, Stills & Nash, Cream), more often than not they combine the talents of like-minded artists.

But with Superheavy Mick Jagger and the Eurythmic’s Dave Stewart have gone for an all-out genre mash-up.

The aging rockers have enlisted soul singer Joss Stone, Damian (son of Bob) Marley and Indian film composer A.R Rahman, for the self-titled debut.

Pulling on influences from all corners of the world might seem like a great idea but putting it down on wax is an entirely different prospect.

The album mostly boils down to blues scattered reggae-pop songs, with pass the mic shared singing.

Damian brings his dancehall roots and backing band, while A.R mixes in a touch of Bollywood, which works well on opening track Superheavy.

Satyameva Jayathe features Rahman singing in Urdu, starting off quite serenely with both Marley and Stone chipping in verses, before tailing off into an almost folk-guitar driven number.

Mick, as always, has a tendency of stealing the limelight from his peers. The former Rolling Stones man is at his best when he sticks to what he knows. His foray into rapping on Energy and Mr Captain a timely reminder that no matter who you used to front some things are better left alone.

But on Never Gonna Change he hits top form with a crooning blues-rock number that will give you a brief 60s flashback.

The song may be the standout track, but Mick’s super partners are noticeable in their absence and leaves you asking, would a Stewart and Jagger album have been a better idea?

Joss Stone offers mostly bland, generic soul choruses and you feel the team’s numbers could have been quite easily cut down to four.

Aside from a few tracks the album feels middle of the road, a far cry from what Dave Stewart imagined after hearing local reggae drifting over the hills into his Jamaican home.

It doesn’t sound like there was a clash of egos, there is just nothing truly groundbreaking or innovative about the music. Which is a shame considering the group’s undoubted talent, with no less than eleven Grammys between them.

At least Mick doesn’t put on a Jamaican accent at any point.