A 2010s reminder of how fun and feel-good gypsy rock music can be. That is how I would summarize the latest single, from San Francisco gypsy junk rock band Junk Parlor, interestingly titled “Mick Jagger’s Heart”. After putting out their debut album titled “Wild Tones”, a record ripe with gypsy jazz rhythms driving a 50s inspired rock theme, the eclectic group has added a slightly country-influenced song here in this new single, in my primary opinion. A quite magical tune that mixes these different, aged genres really smoothly, and it definitely oozes out nostalgia for fans of this musical style, as well as expose it to the newer generation of American listeners.
The first question that may pop into your head would probably be; what does Mick Jagger’s heart have to do with this tune? It is indeed an eye-catching name for a song, and it is apparently a song about metaphorical heartbreak and the classic theme of lost love. It’s a clear step away from their earlier wandering themes of wily satisfaction and late night betrayal. More on the song’s meaning later on.
Musically, “Mick Jagger’s Heart” kicks off with an upbeat snare drum driven beat that works with the bouncy twang of guitarist Jimmy Grant’s country/bluesy introduction riff to bring the energy as it invites leading man Jason Vanderford to begin crooning about how he is dealing with his special someone leaving, in a humorously visual way; “My monkey brain it just wants to believe”.
The chorus/hook is as simple as choruses and hooks come and at the same time, it does not lack any substance at all. “Doctor won’t you please tear it out, and place it in a jar next to Mick Jagger’s Heart”. This seemly hook line perfectly sums up what the song is all about. The protagonist is ready to accept his romance tragedy as he compares his heart to that of one of rock and roll’s biggest icons, The Rolling Stones’ very own Mick Jagger, who would probably have his own fair share of heartbreaks. The harmonizing female vocal part also lends some depth to the song as it suggests the idea that the protagonist’s other half might also be going through the same experience. And I emphasize on “might”, I don’t want to try digging too much out of this straightforward song.
The fun part of “Mick Jagger’s Heart” surely comes in the call-and answer section after the second chorus where Vanderford questions himself if he is crazy. And the guitar solo that comes after is brilliantly fitting of the song as Grant’s inspiring solo gives some musicianship to this already catchy song. And the song appropriately approaches the finale with more of that calling-and-answering, before it finally ends off how it began with the bobbing guitar riff.
Junk Parlor definitely have a name made for themselves already in their Californian regions, and especially after their Pacific Northwest tour. If the band is looking to spread their name further, “Mick Jagger’s Heart” is a decent enough single for the younger generation of listeners to relate to.
Review by Cyrus Rhodes