England Lost – Gotta Get a Grip – Mick Jagger
On the Floor – Music&Verse – Verses Inked
Mick Jagger at 74 Sings of Political Angst
Talk of getting the tabloid frantically typesetting. Talk of Mick Jagger and you have already embarked upon an endless quest of conversations that would empale your curiosity. His onstage theatrics, super celebrity collaboration and tireless creative ventures that define his body of work, with the stones or without . You could count on Mick Jagger to put on a show.
On his 74th birthday Jagger released two singles which he believed were thematically too hot in the moment to be held back and accommodated in a complete album some time later. A merry throwback to the times, for Jagger when songs were, ‘ recorded on the hoof ‘, and released immediately for some more hoofing around.
These two tracks are heavily laced with overt political overtones, both plaintively metaphorical and suggestively remedial, as Jagger states might had lost their appeal to the audience if withheld presently. The urgency per se was a result of the sheer dearth of optimism in the political scenario either side of Atlantic. With Brexit and Trump vying for top honours, it was left to the Rolling Stones front-man to bring together an entourage and document the somber state of affairs through appropriate artistic rendition. A ‘ first musical foray into political commentary.’-Gurdian
It is indeed an entourage which goes to work to carry out a Mick Jagger venture. The description of the YouTube videos for both England Lost and Gotta Get a Grip acknowledges the efforts of a host of persons who came together to make these tracks a reality in time, complete with video. The list, as matter of fact mentions of a director, executive producer,production company, producer, casting director, director of photography, focus puller, concept artist, first assistant director, production manager, production assistant, location manager, hair and makeup, costume designer, assistant costume designer, tailor, art director, 2D artist, lead 2D artist, grade and VFX producer, post producer and colour and sound personnel.
This would be Jagger’s first solo project since his 2001 album, Goddess in the doorway. Apart from his undertakings with the stones, which since the turn of the millennium has included two albums – A Bigger Bang, 2005 and Lonesome and Blue – 2016; to go with their 40 years celebration tour – 40’s Licks in 2002, Mick Jagger has otherwise kept himself busy with film production and celebrity collaborations that has included names like rapper will.I.am, country musician Brad Paisley, and the much critically acclaimed 2011 super group Superheavy, consisting of guitarist Dave Stewart, American soul singer Joss Stone, reggae singer and electronic composer Damian Marley, and Indian multi-instrumentalist, A.R.Rehman.
Coming back to the present, to 2017, to England Lost and Gotta get a grip. This been a non Rolling Stones project of Mick Jagger means that stylistically these songs are a shy away from the rock-n-roll influence of his glimmer-twin Keith Richards and adheres more to the pop and dance image of Jagger himself.
That been said both songs have a heavy electronic production environment influence, dominated by dizzying drum loops and cultured synth samples. Yet the sound of a wicked guitar could not be but missed every now and again. Speaking of the overall musical theme for the compositions, while England lost hovers on the line of angry jazz to blues on heavy boots, while Get a grip wears no pretense in showing up as higher grunge.
The whole set-up for England lost, with lyrics and videography complete has an impending calamity feel to it, while Get a grip effortlessly takes it to the next level with a post apocalypse utopian vibe about the happenings. The old man’s humor takes on the setting like vinegar to pickles.Comedy clearly steals the show in the blasé desperation of the lyrics and the appropriate arrogance in sputtering them out, which at times takes the tone of a headmaster’s belligerence at difficult pupils. While the videos play their part in putting together some semblance of drama in their respective scope.
England lost enfolds as a narration about an English football fan in the wake of defeat. Humor in self-ridicule. As well you could not help but roll over with senile laughter at this particular snippet of a verse from get a grip . A composition where sarcasm draws life source from the construct of frivolous extravagance.
“I tried diversion and I tried coercion
Mediation and medication
LA culture and aquapuncture
Overeating and sex in meetings
Induced insanity, Christianity..”
Both the compositions could boast of videos accentuates the central theme with vivid descriptions.
‘The noir-style video for “England Lost” follows a jittery businessman who discovers he’s being followed after leaving work. A chase ensues as the man runs through London then out into the countryside where things get even weirder. The man is hit by a bicyclist, then a car, then dashes into the ocean where he’s apprehended by two men who drag him ashore. The townspeople surround him and a little girl tells him flat out, “Pull yourself together.”.’
‘The video (of Gotta get a grip) is set in an opulent nightclub where extravagance and excess reach a boiling point and explode into chaos while Jagger rails against everything from greed to xenophobia.’
-Rolling Stone Magazine
Keeping it uber, an official version of England lost, featuring British rapper Skepta on Rhymed verse had been put out only a few days post the original release.