The runaway train that is the string tribute hits the Rolling Stones this time, giving chamber group treatments to 11 hits from the World's Greatest Rock & Roll Band. In a way, it's rewarding to see popular music from the second half of the 20th century collide with the pop repertoire tradition of its first half -- the quintessential music of teen rebellion mellowing into a reconciliation with Montovani and Percy Faith. Most of the songs chosen work well as instrumentals, especially "As Tears Go By," which is unsurprising since it was originally a string-heavy song to begin with. "Emotional Rescue" is the only painful moment; as the lead violin scrapes through the melody it becomes apparent that this is one interpretation that shouldn't have gotten past the arrangers. Of course, as benign as it is, String Quartet Tribute to the Rolling Stones is sure to be divisive among the band's fan base. Some will write it off as crass commercialism pushing its nose in art, and others will see it as a refreshing take on a much-loved catalog of classic songs.
AllMusic Review by Wade Kergan