When Harry Styles announced his debut album, it seemed to be a safe bet to point it somewhere in the direction of Mick Jagger's aesthetic. The pair share similarities in cheekbone chisel, a legion of adoring fans, etc. In the end, however, Harry's album took in a wider palette of icons and sounds. And somehow, in this messed-up world, we're now left with a new single from Mick Jagger that makes him sound like a debased impression of Mick Jagger interpreting Harry Styles interpreting Mick Jagger. A horrific sentence, a terrible idea, a travesty of British sound.
Let's pause for a second and consider the name of this track: "England Lost". It's a telling title, one that leads toward pure bucket hat music – but not in the fun way. A football analogy tries to tackle immigration, in a way that will make this ripe for probably being appropriated by Britain's far-right (picking and choosing what they want to hear) by the time the summer's over. Props are deservedly due to Skepta for reaching a level where he can appear on a track with a Rolling Stone. But even with his level of skill, that VOX wah pedal is just not something we needed. Sorry Mick my guy, that's the honest truth.