"SuperHeavy seems less an artistic collaboration than a temporary marketing partnership of a product called Middle-Aged Pop Music L.L.C.," reads the lede of Ben Ratliff's scathing review. But wait, there's more: "An almost total lack of good songs constitutes the album's basic problem. Once that's understood, the record becomes sort of entertaining: gaudy, vacuous, densely mannered." Note that the fact that it stinks in general is just the basic problem.
To help illustrate the LP's innate bloat, Ratliff even points out that some of the disc was recorded "off the coasts of Greece and Turkey on the Octopus." What's the Octopus, you ask? He helpfully explains, "a boat owned by the Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen that Wikipedia calls 'the fifth largest superyacht not owned by a head of state.' " Point taken.
The Times has harsh words for Marley (he "croaks"), Stone (she brings "canned soul histrionics"), and Rahman (who plays "goopy synthesizer passages"), but the real vitriol is saved for Mick, who spends the LP "whining, yammering, imprecating, imitating himself fabulously." If the Rolling Stones do decide to reunite again to celebrate their 50th anniversary, it sure won't be at a New York Times Christmas party. Here's one more for the road: "It could be a pretty heavy comedy album if its intent were moved a few inches."
- Mick Jagger
- Damian Marley
- Joss Stone