No Security

In the nineties, the Rolling Stones have marked the end of each of their colossal world tours with a live album. The twist on No Security, the band's third caught-in-the-act collection this decade, is the way that everything — from golden oldies to midcareer hits to selections from Bridges to Babylon, the last studio album — becomes more vital under the heavy lights of the big live rig. The Stones are experts at making more recent material sound as important as their warhorses: Bridges' "Out of Control" acquires a menacing swagger, while "Saint of Me" blossoms, approaching the vitriolic intensity of Exile on Main Street. It's rare enough that the Rolling Stones share the stage with anyone, and there are some inspired cameos here: Taj Mahal enlivens "Corinna," Dave Matthews injects new, bittersweet sorrow into "Memory Motel," and saxophonist Joshua Redman soars through "Waiting on a Friend." But what's most impressive is the consistency with which the rhythm section, ever mindful of the groove fundamentals, cranks it up. The elemental No Security kind of makes you wonder whether the Stones shouldn't reverse their recent strategy and hit the stage first.

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