There are two types of good albums, there are graboids (named, of course, after the Tremors movie) or creepers. Graboids grab you off the bat and don't let go, it doesn't matter if you're sitting on top of a tire, on the top of a building, or hiding in your basement - it's gonna getcha. Creepers are albums that you don't necessarily love on your first listen, but the more you listen the more you're sucked in. Graboids are albums you wish you wrote, they are completely up your alley. Creepers, however, force themselves to resonate with you. They have the potential to have more of a lasting impact on the listener because it's (previous to hearing the record) outside the listener's usual spectrum. The Stones are creepers, they're growing on me.
Under My Thumb
This song is not only the best song on the album, it's also symbolically the pinnacle of the record. A lot of the other songs have a similar vibe, but this brings all the parts together perfectly. It's blended so well, it provides a great counter melody with the marimba, I love the riff on the guitars, the melody is phenomenal, and Jagger is really, really starting to grow on me.
The amount of reverb on the piano at the beginning of this track is ridiculous. It makes it so you can hear the rock piano that's going on underneath it, but it doesn't rock - it's a lot more subdued. I adore how much the Stones incorporate the blues, but I particularly love the mesh and blend of rock, pop, and blues. One particular thing I think the Stones improved on this album is the harmonies. They're much more seamless they're more felt than heard and their placement is spot on.
Out of Time
I love the fact that they're using the marimba so freely on this record. It's by far the best use of a marimba on any rock album I've ever heard. I've always enjoyed the White Stripes "The Nurse", but the Stones keeps the instrument on an even level as the others. The marimba provides such contrast to the guitars and it works much better than I would have ever anticipated. Jagger is one hell of a vocalist, the way he changes the pronunciations of words in order to make the sound more appealing is amazing.
All in all, I really, really enjoyed it. There's not one area in which this album did not greatly improve over the previous albums. The Stones are creepers but 'Aftermath' did grab me a bit. Maybe I'm wrong, maybe this record is a hybrid. Maybe it's a creepoid.