ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, APRIL 8, 1993
By Steve Newton
Not satisfied with being just “the world’s greatest rock ’n’ roll band”, Keith Richards, Ronnie Wood, and Mick Jagger are now shooting for the title of “world’s greatest rock ’n’ roll solo artists”.
And, for the most part, they hit the mark.
On Jagger’s album, things start off on a rowdy note with “Wired All Night”, maybe his heaviest and hardest-rocking tune ever. Fans of Jagger’s boogie inclinations will also like “Put Me in the Trash” and “Mother of a Man”, which feature tough guitar from the aptly named Jimmy Rip.
Of course, it’s no surprise that a few Jagger songs sound like the Stones, but it’s no tragedy that “Sweet Thing” and “Evening Gown” bring to mind “Miss You” and “Far Away Eyes”, respectively. They’re strong tunes all the same, and solidly produced by the team of Jagger and Def American honcho Rick Rubin.
One particular stand-out on Wandering Spirit is a soulful version of Bill Withers’ “Use Me”, which features Billy Preston’s low-down and funky organ work and a show-stealing vocal by Lenny Kravitz. Other guest appearances by drummer Jim Keltner, keyboardist Benmont Tench, and primo bassists Flea and Doug Wimbish help old dog Jagger pull off some—if not new—at least immensely enjoyable tricks.