With plenty of strut and starry backup, the band’s first album of originals in nearly two decades peaks in its quieter moments
Joined by a supporting cast that includes Elton John, Paul McCartney, Stevie Wonder and Lady Gaga. They certainly still have the pulling power, but even their stellar guests can’t quite steal the thunder of singer Mick Jagger, 80, plus guitarists Keith Richards, 79, and Ronnie Wood, 76: they haven’t sounded this dynamic in years… a studio comeback that rolls back the years with astonishing aplomb. Full of defiant zest and what you might charitably call unreconstructed Stonesiness – Hackney Diamonds is packed with convincing echoes of the band in its pomp. Two of its quieter moments steal the show however: a cover of Muddy Waters’ Rollin’ Stone – titled Rolling Stone Blues – featuring only Keith Richards and Mick Jagger; and Dreamy Skies, a bittersweet country turn whose Dylanesque weariness provides a welcome respite from some of the overworked precision.