Thursday, September 30, 2010

The Beatles - Let It Be

This is the final Beatles album to be released (although it was mostly recorded before Abbey Road), and also the least of the ones I've heard. That doesn't make it bad, in fact I like most of it. It just has less going for it, fewer all time great songs and just not as much of the pure inspiration they showed in the few years previous. The thing is, it's at least somewhat intentional, because it was recorded to sound more or less like a live performance, although they lost some of that when they brought on Phil Spector to produce new versions of the tracks. It's still there though, the songs are less meticulously crafted, relying more on pure folksy charm, which they just don't do quite as well. They still play a pretty good tune, especially accompanied by Billy Preston on keyboards to fill out what otherwise could have been a fairly sparse sound.

Now here's the part where I talk about some individual songs. "Across the Universe" might actually be the only one I'd heard before getting the album, and I don't think it was part of the same recording sessions. There's something haunting and alien about it, a nice break from the rest of the album. There's a pretty good chance I had heard the title track too, and it's a nice one, the kind of Paul McCartney song that doesn't light your hair on fire but you never mind hearing. There are quite a few songs that feature both Paul and John sharing the lead, which is a nice way to send the band off, my favorite being the opener "Two of Us". George's contributions are relatively slight this time, though there is something likable about the simplicity of "I Me Mine". It's too bad there wasn't a place for Ringo to sing, he being the only one to sound significantly different from the others usually. There's not really a lot to say, many of the songs featured are listenable and fun but not particularly memorable. That's a good way to sum up the album, I guess. Not the best possible way for the band to end, but not the worst either.

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