For his second solo album, Mick Jagger teamed up with producer Dave Stewart (Eurythmics), turning in a more adventurous and ambitious record. Of course, "adventurous" and "ambitious" are relative terms. In comparison to the carefully constructed, state-of-the-art pop/rock of She's the Boss, Primitive Cool sounds lively, as Jagger puts some genuine conviction behind the funky "Peace for the Wicked" and the country stylings of "Party Doll." Nevertheless, the album, like She's the Boss before it, is designed to establish Mick Jagger as a solo star in his own right, and Primitive Cool is filled with attempts at contemporary rock and dance-pop. The nadir of his stabs at modern pop is the appalling single "Let's Work," where the rock star tells his fans to get off their asses and start working, all to a bouncy, aerobicized beat. However, most of the album is more appealing than the single, even if Jagger's writing seems forced on the numbers designed with the Top 40 in mind ("Shoot Off Your Mouth," in particular). Not surprisingly, the best moments on Primitive Cool occur when he stops seeing the album as a way to jump-start his solo career and he concentrates on the music. While his emotionally unguarded songs ("War Baby" and "Party Doll") are the most affecting tracks on the record, songs like "Let's Work" are more indicative of Jagger's true feelings.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine