You know Bernard Fowler. You’ve enjoyed him for years. But you never even knew it.
Fowler has been singing back up for the Rolling Stones for a third of a century, and with “Inside Out” he reinterprets a host of classics (Sympathy for the Devil, Undercover of the Night) and deeper cuts (All The Way Down, Must Be Hell), from the full span of those thirty years as jazz and spoken-word expositions.
Sometimes, it works extremely well. Like “Time Wait For No One,” where Fowler combines the Stones song with the Chambers’ Brothers (ahem) timeless psychedelic classic, “Time.” Very cool. Other times, like “Must Be Hell,” it feels like a sermon. But more often than not, it does work—and it offers a chance to actually understand the lyrics (Mick Jagger is not known for his enunciation).
This album might not be for everyone—but it’s definitely for me. I’m a diehard Stones fan—as soon as I heard them, I had no use for the Beatles—and I can tell you that I’ve never heard their work done like this before.