It would be lazy for me to compare this album to contemporaries of the band. It would also be lazy to use the old outdated "p" adjective to describe this music. However I can think of numerous other adjectives: challenging, rewarding, inventive, chaotic, grimy, majestic.
Their Satanic Majesties Request takes some of the exploration that The Rolling Stones had done on Between The Buttons (think "Ruby Tuesday") and turns that on its head. Mix in ample supplies of chemicals and a total fearlessness, and a belief that what they were doing was total brilliance, and what you get is Their Satanic Majesties Request. This album surely must have convinced parents that Satan himself was possessing the hi-fi.
Light on guitar, rhythm and blues, TSMR is still among the best Stones albums if you can penetrate its purple smokey haze. Doing so will reveal an album constructed in layers, and peeling back these layers will release melodies and playing that will keep you enthralled for years as you keep coming back to this album. Is that Mick asking, "Where's that joint?"
"She's A Rainbow" is a perfect pop song, as brilliant as "Ruby Tuesday" if not moreso due to Charlie Watts' relentlessness. "2000 Man" is as catchy as anything else the Stones produced, with neat lyrics that must have seemed so foreward-thinking in the 60's. I do think that Ace Frehley's version of the song is an improvement by simplifying things and heavying up the guitar, but this is still a great song.
While every song has melodies and instrumentation coming out the wazoo, it surely is "Sing This All Together (See What Happens)" that is the centrepiece of this bizarre journey into the unknown. 8 1/2 minutes long, and never really going anywhere, some might consider this a waste of vinyl. On the other hand, those that have studied free improvisation will get inspiration out of this bizarre arrangement.
Brian Jones of course continues to experiment with multiple instruments including sitar (hey, it was the 60's). Guests include Lennon and McCartney, Steve Marriot and Ronnie Lane, Nicky Hopkins, and future Led Zeppelin bassisy/keyboardist/string arranger John Paul Jones.
Next time somebody comes up to you and says, "Yeah, this new band that I like, they sound really Stones-y," then respond by playing "Sing This All Together (See What Happens)" and ask if this is what they meant. Watch the looks on their faces.