[HOT TRACK]This time, no divine gifts roll in

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[HOT TRACK]This time, no divine gifts roll in

"God gave me everything I want" is a declaration that can be honestly uttered by only a few people, and one of them is Mick Jagger. This is what Jagger sings on an early track from his latest solo album, "Goddess in the Doorway."

The man with the million-dollar lips may not think much about it, but he has been the front man of the Rolling Stones during five ?count 'em ?decades. Over that span he's made a few stabs at solo efforts, beginning with 1984's "She's the Boss." "Goddess" is his fourth, and his first in eight years.

Jagger may indeed have gotten his every little desire. But Mick seems convinced that God hasn't taken anything away, either, based on a cursory once-over of the album's derriere-intense photos. Jagger's poses make you wonder whether his head wasn't grafted onto Lenny Kravitz's body.

"Goddess" takes a page from Santana's "Supernatural" book by enlisting various artists ?such as Kravitz, Pete Townshend, Rob Thomas of Matchbox Twenty, and U2's Bono ?for guest performances. The album is grounded in an eclectic framework, based in rock, that incorporates elements of soul, reggae and even Gypsy music. "The thing about this album is that it kept to the original idea," Jagger told reporters after the album was released. "Sometimes these things take on a life of their own, which can be great, too, but this one stayed true to the original concept."

The single "God Gave Me Everything," produced and mostly performed by Kravitz, promises much with a viscera-penetrating guitar riff. But 90 seconds in it becomes clear that the delivery's been canceled, and the energy peters out into the blandness and tedium that ail most of the other tracks.

Likewise, "Hide Away" packs a groovy beat ?but something about it drags. "Lucky Day," a reggae and blues-flavored tune about someone who finally gets the chance to leave a hostile city, is probably the most listenable track, and the only one that seems inspired.

"Goddess" would seem competent enough to satisfy some die-hard Stones fans, but its poor sales so far call even that into doubt. Jagger needs to realize that "Supernatural" was a success because Santana has a gift that transcends the aging process, while Mick's gift, sex appeal, does not.

Jagger's attempt to make a special album by studding it with stars flops because he merely rehashes his old, tired tricks. Still, he remains a pop icon; and who knows, maybe God still has some gifts for him coming down the divine pike.

by Chun Su-jin

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