Jay-Z and Kanye West's 'Watch the Throne' is Opulent and Adventurous

Also: Stream new music by Jeff Bridges, Lil Wayne and Drake, Sly Stone, 3 Doors Down, Feist and Portugal. The Man.

August 16, 2011 9:40 AM ET
kanye jay-z west watch the throne otis
Kanye West and Jay-Z's 'Watch the Throne'
Album cover courtesy artist, Givenchy.

In this week's slate of Rolling Stone reviews, Jody Rosen assesses hip-hop monarchs Jay-Z and Kanye West's collaborative album Watch the Throne, which  he says is ambitious and sonically bold, but too heavily weighted on their boasts of outrageous wealth. Also, Will Hermes praises the lived-in in sound of actor Jeff Bridges' new country-rock album, J. Edward Keyes digs the vintage glam-rock sound of Portugal. The Man, and Jon Dolan slams the anthemic plodding of 3 Doors Down's latest record Time of My Life.


Jay-Z and Kanye West - Watch the Throne (stream one song)

Jeff Bridges - Jeff Bridges (stream one song)

Portugal. The Man - In the Mountains in the Cloud (stream one song)

Shabazz Palaces - Black Up (stream five songs)

Hercules & Love Affair - Blue Songs (stream one song)

Sly Stone - I'm Back! Family & Friends (stream one song)

John Hiatt - Dirty Jeans and Mudslide Hymns (stream one song)

3 Doors Down - Time of My Life (stream one song)

MellowHype - BlackenedWhite (stream one song)


Lil Wayne featuring Drake "She Will" (stream)

Feist "How Come You Never Go There" (stream)

Pusha-T featuring Tyler, the Creator "Trouble On My Mind" (stream)

LAST WEEK: Mick Jagger's Superheavy Delivers a Summer Song For Every Beach

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Song Stories

“Try a Little Tenderness”

Otis Redding | 1966

This pop standard had been previously recorded by dozens of artists, including by Bing Crosby 33 years before Otis Redding, who usually wrote his own songs, cut it. It was actually Sam Cooke’s 1964 take, which Redding’s manager played for Otis, that inspired the initially reluctant singer to take on the song. Isaac Hayes, then working as Stax Records’ in-house producer, handled the arrangement, and Booker T. and the MG’s were the backing band. Redding’s soulful version begins quite slowly and tenderly itself before mounting into a rousing, almost religious “You’ve gotta hold her, squeeze her …” climax. “I did that damn song you told me to do,” Redding told his manager. “It’s a brand new song now.”

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