By the early seventies the Rolling Stones had gotten plenty of Satisfaction, and were already looking around for the next big thing. They paid tribute to Motown, toyed with country and western music, and even took the briefest of flings into jazz, but couldn't find anything that really suited their talents and tastes. And that's pretty much the picture we get with this, their 1974 release.
There are some good songs here, and even a few classics (the title track, the haunting "Time Waits for No One", and the deliciously funky "Fingerprint File") but the overall quality is somewhat off. The cover of "Ain't Too Proud to Beg" is okay, but nothing really special. "If You Can't Rock Me" and "Luxury" are both good enough songs that just don't quite seem to have enough punch, like they're being played under water (or possibly under the influence). The band is far more effective on "Dance Little Sister", which would be a real knockout if it wasn't quite so... well, dumb. "If You Really Want To Be My Friend" is the only total washout on this recording, and its position probably prompted a lot of listeners to either put on something else or fall asleep altogether, in either case missing the underrated and often-ignored standout "Fingerprint File". While some consider this song's paranoid lyrics satirical. Jagger's experiences surely give him a unique slant on what it's like to live in a fishbowl.
Fans of the older, hard-rockin' Stones can be forgiven for being lukewarm about this offering. But if you don't mind the variety (some might call it lack of focus) there's certainly enough here to warrant investigation. On the other hand, if you don't have many Stones' CD's in your collection, there are others that you'll want to get first. A rating of three and a half stars would be more accurate, but given the availability of "skip" buttons, I rounded up to reflect the high quality of the best tracks, rather than down to reflect the stuff you might not listen to anyway.