Hello, I’m Musicommentator, and I don’t want to review a song by a newer artist this time around! The last two posts I did were reviews of Selena Gomez’s and Louis Tomlinson’s new songs, and boy were they trash. The one was so stereotypical that the lyrics could have been written by a Speak-And-Spell and the other was so downtempo and drab that it’s only points of conversation were the terrible lines that were worse than those from “Back To You”. I still refuse to admit that all contemporary pop music is bad, but these songs certainly do not help my point. I need to listen to something from an older artist. Lucky for me, Mick Jagger just came out with two new songs, each with their own remixes.
For those who don’t know who Mick Jagger is, which I doubt is any of my followers, Mick Jagger is a rock singer from one of the most famous British bands of all time “The Rolling Stones”. He gained wild success with this band and has since been praised for his musical work, even being knighted in 2003 (to the Queen’s dismay). Now, 74 years old and still kicking, Mick Jagger has released two new songs named “Gotta Get A Grip” and “England Lost”. I am going to be focusing on “England Lost”.
“England Lost” is a song about the terrible political state England has been in recently since the BREXIT situation (see details about that here). For those who do not have time to read Wikipedia, the gist is that the UK is planning on dropping out of the EU (European Union) so they do not have to legally let in immigrants from other countries that are also a part of the EU. I am honestly not keeping up with the whole thing, but good thing we have Mick Jagger to make a song about it.
Also, just to be a little out of the norm or absurdly weird, however you want to see it as, I am going to review the remix version of this song with Skepta, a popular British grime artist. I always find it fascinating when classic artists team up with modern rappers. They are usually able to make pieces that are quite enjoyable. I really liked when Eminem teamed up with Elton John for their “Stan” performance, Paul McCartney made three songs with Kanye West, and U2 collaborated with Kendrick Lamar to make a song on Kendrick’s new “DAMN.” project. They are all tracks that I still listen to to this day, so I think checking this version of “England Lost” out will be an interesting experience.
“I went to see England, but England’s lost
I went to see England, but England’s lost”
This is pretty much the entire chorus, except some of the choruses add more of this phrase and a couple towards the end replace “see” with “find”. That may be a lot of variation for some of you, so bear with me. This chorus is a good thesis for the whole song. It is saying that England now is not the England that Mick used to know in light of recent situations and changes (not just BREXIT). You know, I used to think this was a pretty good concept, but now that I am writing this down, it just sounds like an old man rambling about how things are worse than when he was a kid. I mean, Mick is old enough to say that kind of stuff now, so it is possible. Dang…I may have to change my perspective on this review.
“And everyone said we were all ripped off
I went to see England, but England lost”
Okay, here are the first two lines of the first verse, and these are good. It has the same chorus line at the end of it, but the preceding line gives it a new meaning for this part of the song. From what I can gather, he is saying that England was ripped off in the political dealings of BREXIT…maybe. It is kind of vague, but I like it.
“It wasn’t much fun standin’ in the rain
And we all yelled loud and we all complained
Wasn’t much of a game
I got soaked
Didn’t look home anyway”
Continuing on the first verse, this gets even better because it can be interpreted in two ways. I could be symbolism for the hard times the people outside or inside of Britain were having due to this. Or, it could be a more personal standpoint of a persistent riot he was a part of that would not stand back. Either way, it helps the point of the song.
“I went to see England, but England’s lost
I went in the back, but they said, ‘P*** off’”
The latter of these two lines acting as a little reprise of the chorus, this part is saying how England seemingly rejected him because of how much it changed. It is like society rejected him due to him barely evening knowing it anymore. Again, this is kind of similar to the bitter old man analogy, but I will give it a pass.
“I went to see England, but England’s lost
I went to see England, but England…
I went to see…
What…What is he doing here? This just sounds awkward in the song, especially the lone, short “I”. What purpose does this have to the song as a whole? It probably sounded good on paper, but in execution, it is just weird and clumsy.
“I lost a blunt, think I lost the pint
She can go home and smoke a joint, anyway”
I was able to give the other part a pass, but not this. I do not even know what he is talking about here. What does this have to do with England being lost? Maybe he cannot find England because he’s high.
“I went to find England, it wasn’t there
I think I lost it in the back of my chair”
Or, maybe he can’t find it because he is looking in the stupidest places! Why the heck would he even say this? If you are looking for England, Mick, you might want to expand your borders. Might want to lay off the weed there, too.
However, enough with these lines. I do not want to hear Mick Jagger talk about looking for the UK under his couch. Let’s move on to Skepta’s verse, which is the reason I reviewed the remix instead of the original. Hopefully he gives some good lines.
“It’s a déjà vu, I’ve seen it all before
Different season, same score
Everybody wants your head on a spike
But they were singin’ your praises a day before”
I like the way this verse is starting. Skepta, instead of ranting on how England used to be different, is taking a more introspective look on the topic. He is saying how this current turmoil is similar different occasions he has seen in the past, and I really like the sports reference he makes here because it is a little throwback to the “Wasn’t much of a game” line from before. This part also talks about the hypocrisy of people in general, which fits with the political themes of the song
“They’re still fightin’ over houses
So I just pick it up, put it down and leave it where I found it
Feel like Macaulay Culkin, I’m home alone
Come to my window and throw a stone”
Here, Skepta is continuing his commentary on England by giving us a glimpse of the impoverished side of the UK. That Macaulay Culkin line is pretty cheesy, but it makes sense with the context. Skepta really did not do too bad on his verse. In fact, I was quite impressed. But, we first have to cover Mick Jagger’s last verse before the end of the song.
“Had a girl in Lisbon, a girl in Rome
Now I’ll have to stay at home”
Alright, Mick is picking up the slack he originally had in his lyrics. He is saying that he had different girls in different parts of Europe, but with BREXIT, he cannot visit them freely. While the process to see them would just be a bit longer, it proves the point that he does not like BREXIT. There is really nothing else in this verse to talk about, because it sounds like a bunch of incoherent rambling.
I know I kind of ripped on Jagger’s lyrics, but I will say that I liked his voice. For being over seventy, he has kept a lot vigor. The grainy filters he puts on his voice, too, give it a retro feel that replicates the music of his past. The instrumentals on here are really stellar as well. There are many instruments that give small, staccato notes throughout the entire song, but the drums make it feel very cohesive and structured. The electric guitar and bluesy harmonica give it nice melodies that reflect the tone of the topic. I would not change a thing about this beat.
Overall, this song is not that bad. The beat and vocals from both artists are phenomenal. They both have nice, neat flows and the choral chanting of “Lost” is a great addition. There is a lyrical downfall here, though, because for being a political song, it is pretty simplistic. Mick delves as deep as a kiddy pool into the topics that he is tackling here. Some of the lyrics, too, just make no sense, like the chair line. But, that does not make the song awful. Overall, I would give this song a 3.5 out of 5. Do you agree?
Thank you for reading my “England Lost (Remix)” song review. If you liked this review, make sure to follow my website, Twitter, and Instagram, like this post, and be sure to check in to read my future reviews. Also, if you have something you want to see me review, tell me in the comments. Until then, keep on listening to good music! I know I will.