Sandwiched between "Sticky Fingers" and "Goats Head Soup" this album is hard to explain. But why explain it? Just enjoy it.
You get the feeling that the Stones went into the studio and just let it rip. In a way, it can be compared to the Beatles' white album in its eclecticness, but it is much more coherent. While there are different styles, ranging from blues to country to gospel, the record is unified by its uniquely grungy atmosphere. There is a tired, world-weary darkness to the album, "Torn and Frayed," some moments of Tom Waits' rolling-around-in-the-dirt grossness, "Turd on the Run," with moments of shining light, "Let it Loose" and "Shine a Light."
1&2) Rocks Off/Rip This Joint - The album starts with a bang, from the weird, rockin' "Rocks Off" to the Richards gem, "Rip this Joint." You won't find a better Richards tune. Mick's gargling break in the middle of "Rock's Off" mars an otherwise spectacular opening.
3) Shake Your Hips - An eery, murky blues cover. One of the weaker tracks, but it sets the mood for the rest of the album.
4) Casino Boogie - Can't understand most of the words. Keith is particularly nasal on this one. But it introduces the horn section in an upbeat rhythm number.
5) Tumbling Dice - It got radio play, but see how well it fits into the context of this album.
6) Sweet Virginia - A gritty, soulful country number with a memorable scatalogical refrain featuring some great backing vocals. It also features a Tom Waits-ish vocal by Mick.
7) Torn and Frayed - A countrified anthem to exhaustion.
8) Sweet Black Angel - A murky, bluesy ode to a Black pin-up girl. Unfortunately most of the lyrics are indecipherable.
9) Loving Cup - Great piano intro.