Reviewed: The Strokes' Return to Greatness, Green Day's Thrilling Live Album and More

Also: Stream new music by Britney Spears, Aretha Franklin, Chris Brown, Wild Flag, The Cars, Raekwon and Panic at the Disco

March 22, 2011 7:55 AM ET
Reviewed: The Strokes' Return to Greatness, Green Day's Thrilling Live Album and More

In this week's slate of Rolling Stone reviews, David Fricke hails the Strokes' fourth album Angles as their best since their era-defining debut This Is It. Fricke also recommends the new 11-disc Aretha Franklin retrospective Take A Look: Complete on Columbia, which he says showcases the full range of her vocal talent, and Green Day's live set Awesome As Fuck, which he calls a "contagious account of the power-fun streak that still runs through the band." Also, Jody Rosen says that Chris Brown's F.A.M.E. finds the singer bouncing back from a creative rut and bad publicity with a solid "pop 'n' b album with something for everyone."

On the singles front, David Fricke says that the new Cars comeback single "Sad Song" is so good that it seems like they never went away, and Will Hermes adores the hard psychedelic sound of "Glass Tambourine," the first single from the indie rock supergroup Wild Flag.


The Strokes - Angles (stream one song)

Green Day - Awesome As Fuck (stream one song)

Raekwon - Shaolin vs. Wu-Tang (stream one song)

Britney Spears - Femme Fatale (stream two songs)

Chris Brown - F.A.M.E. (stream one song)

Richard Ashcroft - United Nations of Sound (stream one song)

Panic at the Disco - Vices and Virtues (stream one song)

Aretha Franklin - Take a Look: Complete On Columbia (stream one song)

Various Artists  -  Alligator Records: 40th Anniversary Collection (stream one song)


The Cars "Sad Song" (stream)

Wild Flag "Glass Tambourine" (stream)

Christina Perri "Arms" (stream)

LAST WEEK: Britney Gets Avant-Garde; Katy Perry, Kanye are Underwhelming

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

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Song Stories

“San Francisco Mabel Joy”

Mickey Newbury | 1969

A country-folk song of epic proportions, "San Francisco Mabel Joy" tells the tale of a poor Georgia farmboy who wound up in prison after a move to the Bay Area found love turning into tragedy. First released by Mickey Newbury in 1969, it might be more familiar through covers by Waylon Jennings, Joan Baez and Kenny Rogers. "It was a five-minute song written in a two-minute world," Newbury said. "I was told it would never be cut by any artist ... I was told you could not use the term 'redneck' in a song and get it recorded."

More Song Stories entries »