Goddess in the Doorway
First Appeared at The Music Box, February 2002, Volume 9, #2
Written by John Metzger
It's hard to pinpoint precisely where Goddess in the Doorway, Mick Jagger's fourth solo effort, veers off course. It's not that the songs are inept; many of them have tremendous potential. It's not for lack of star power; Jagger's as big as one can get, and the album is crammed full of other high-profile names like Pete Townshend, Bono, Wyclef Jean, Joe Perry, Lenny Kravitz, and Rob Thomas. And, it has little to do with the absence of his collaborators in the Rolling Stones; none of them appeared on Jagger's brilliant, but largely overlooked, 1993 release Wandering Spirit either.
Yet, the fact remains: Much of Goddess in the Doorway falls flat — staggering around a host of funky dance grooves, often in a directionless haze. It's too bad, really, as Jagger lays down some seriously powerful vocals that highlight his personal musings on relationships and the realities of growing older. From the gospel-fueled buoyancy of Joy to the country-tinged reflection of Too Far Gone, he sings as well as he ever has done, carrying tremendous power and emotion on the wings of each drawn-out syllable.
Too often, however, the songs on Goddess in the Doorway actually sound like individual recording sessions pulled together to make a single track. Jagger appears to be in one place; his backing band is somewhere else. Granted, most albums are assembled from bits and pieces rather than recorded live in a single take, but they're not supposed to sound that way. Such disparity does not bode well for an album, and as a result, Goddess in the Doorway suffers immensely, lacking in the kind of consistency one might (and should) expect from such a veteran artist.
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1 Star: Pitiful
2 Stars: Listenable
3 Stars: Respectable
4 Stars: Excellent
5 Stars: Can't Live Without It!!
Copyright © 2002 The Music Box