Friday, January 1, 2010

The Beatles - Revolver

I figure what the hell while I'm at it, right? No, but I'll definitely be slowing down after this one. Gotta spread it out a little.

Of the five Beatles albums I've listened to, this one felt like it had the best balance between all four musicians. I mean, if you look at the White Album, they all contributed a lot, but things will look like that when you have 30 songs together. But just on the 14 tracks here, you see remarkable accomplishments by all of them. Obviously Ringo is limited, but his drumming always helps a song and "Yellow Submarine" is one of his more famous and better vocal performances. The song's strange and a bit childish, but it's still a classic. There's quite a strong concentration of George to be found, as he opens the album with the clever and catchy "Taxman", and soon thereafter adds "Love You Too", which has a similar eastern feel to "Within You Without You" though I dare say it's a better song. "I Want to Tell You" is more forgettable but not bad. I've noticed that it's not hard to tell John and Paul apart, but does anyone agree that George and Ringo sound like them in their deeper registers, respectively? Oh well.

Paul has sort of a tendency to do bouncy, upbeat songs that elicit feelings of cheesiness as much as genuine affection, but I think Revolver has some of his strongest work. "Eleanor Rigby" is an obvious good one, helping signal the band's transition from pop to something much more interesting, and is still deeply enjoyable to listen to. "For No One" is another particularly good composition, and the rest of his contributions are at the least solid, impeccably crafted songs. John has always stuck out to me a bit more than the rest, and he fails to disappoint here yet again. I could take or leave "Doctor Robert", but "I'm Only Sleeping" is one of the best songs of his that sounds very much like just a Beatles song, and he caps off the album with "Tomorrow Never Knows", which apparently attempts to recreate the experience of taking acid and manages to be quite trippy without ever sacrificing its success as an enjoyable song. He has a couple more tracks which, like Paul's are of particular consistent quality. Revolver is one of the most acclaimed and probably important albums ever released, and while I can't say it blew me away, it's still impressive throughout and frequently steps into moments of brilliance.

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