SuperHeavy, SuperHeavy

Posted on September 30, 2011 by

Artist: SuperHeavy
Title: SuperHeavy
Label: Universal Republic B0016107
Released: September 20, 2011

They remind us immediately in the name of the band and the title of the album that this is a supergroup. This super team of Damian Marley, A.R.Rahman, David Stewart, Joss Stone and Superman himself, Mick Jagger, want to collectively blow our minds with a multi-cultural music experience. But what it turns out to be is an excursion into the global economy in an attempt to line their pockets with as many foreign currencies as possible. It’s imperialistic rock and it sounds forced and unnatural.

The opening track, surprisingly titled, “SuperHeavy,” is toasting and boasting over an amalgam of world beat rhythms. Damian Marley is the only member sounding like he’s at home here. Meanwhile, A.R. Rahman noodles through a verse, at her best, Joss Stone sounds like a coked-up Gloria Jones and Mick leaves the planet altogether and channels Jar-Jar Binks. The song promotes the band’s self but lacks a genuine feeling of political awareness like the Clash purveyed in “This Is Radio Clash.” And it does not capture their significance to world culture like “Hey, Hey We’re the Monkees” did.

SuperHeavy tried to make a record that would incorporate so much, reach so many, but it collapses on itself like Wall Street and the Greek economy. The single, “Miracle Worker,” has a nice hook, the harmonies during the chorus are pleasant, but Jagger vomits all over the song when he tries to snarl his way through the lyrics. Every supergroup has its superstar that is more superior to his superiorettes, and Mick wants to be the king of the world but he’s just plain irritating, he’s like the John McCain of rock.

“Energy” is a bad version of “You Got Me Rocking” meets “Undercover of the Night.” After hearing the last track on side A, “One Day One Night” I was really hoping that Marley would make an album with Sly & Robbie, Joss would get together again with Betty Wright, Rahman would go back to the Indian film industry, Stewart would write some rock songs for Annie Lennox and the Stones would not take their rumored final tour.

And then I came to the realization that there was still a B-side to the record. I really had trouble finding the want to turn the platter over. The first three tracks settled into a nice groove, but still not enough to save the record. I found myself liking “Rock Me Gently” (no, not the Andy Kim song…that one’s better) but I literally dozed off somewhere during its six-minutes of vinyl existence. That doesn’t say a lot for a record when you fall asleep during your favorite song.

They must have realized that too because the following track, “I Can’t Take It No More” starts off with Joss dropping the F-bomb with Mick finally sounding like Mick in this loud soul-rocker. But it’s not that good of a song, and it was so aptly titled, I did a needle drop on the two remaining tracks because I couldn’t take it no more.

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