Still inspired by their 'Sticky Fingers' recording sessions in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, 'Exile on Main Street' found the Rolling Stones sounding more like a southern fried juke-joint band than ever before. That 'Exile on Main Street' was recorded in a basement is no surprise, either - much of it sounds as if it was recorded live at a gospel revival, with a final mix that gives nohierarchy to specific instruments. The result is a swampy, most exhilarating chunk of rock and roll euphoria. 'Exile on Main Street' sharpens the country, blues, and gospel tendencies the Stones began exploring in the late '60s on albums like 'Beggar's Banquet'. Here, armed with an assortment of backing musicians and vocalists, the band virtually inhabits the spirit of each style, distilling the whole to a ragged, soulful perfection.from the escalating, horn-driven vamps of 'Rocks Off' through the back porch singalong 'Sweet Virginia' to the mean blues stomp of 'Ventilator Blues' and the church-like strains of 'Shine a Light', 'Exile on Main Street's double-album length plays like a weary, boozed-up sermon on the very meaning of rock music. This is the closest the band ever came to religion, and it still has the power to convert.