March 25, 1985 12:00 PM

Mick Jagger

Anyone who has been expecting Jagger to do a Manilow-Ronstadt back-to-basics album will be disappointed in this LP, which is only great rock ‘n’ roll. Jagger is toned down just a few decibels and an rpm or two from his frenetic Rolling Stone persona, but that’s enough to let a lot more of himself surface. While Jagger has always been more of a presence than a singer—his voice is a dime-store instrument—his delivery is the very embodiment of rhythm and blues, and this LP demonstrates that spectacularly. There’s only one ballad, but it’s a subtle, sly one, Hard Woman. The up-tempo songs, all rockers, include Secrets, Running Out of Luck, Lonely at the Top and Turn the Girl Loose. Jagger did most of the writing himself; Keith Richards collaborated on one tune, Carlos Alomar on two. Mick’s lyrics ooze cynicism and wit. In Secrets he sings, “I’ve been a fool ’cause scales have just fell from my eyes/ You can’t keep up your disguise/ Tell me about your adventures in living/ I won’t write a word of libel, swear it on a thousand Bibles/ But, I admit, I have got my misgivings.” While Jagger’s usual band is no bunch of slouches, the musicians playing behind him on She’s the Boss are an amazingly talented group. They play with fire, handling it deftly. Most visible is guitarist Jeff Beck, who gets a lot of solo time and exploits it with patient, lyrical poise. The other guys aren’t bad either: Pete Townshend, Herbie Hancock, Jan Hammer, Sly Dunbar, Robbie Shakespeare and Bernard Edwards are among them. Psychologists might want to ponder the strange attitudes toward women Jagger’s songs betray. Music lovers, though, can just sit back and enjoy an experience of rare excitement and satisfaction. (Columbia)

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