bobrocks thought it a shame that know one had posted anything about this album in two years back in '08...then proceeded to not really talk about the album...curious, that....
...so, four years later...
this is by far my second favorite beatle album...it has everything one could want and then some in the finale by the fab four...yet, there are few things i feel hinder it that keep it from being on the distinctly great level of TWA: all other beatle albums, however, do not compare to these two juggernauts, tho...
first...the likes...um...well...everything: the beginning 'come together' starts out with predatory caution but quickly rips into a stealthy overdrive...'something' mellows out, but remains a slightly detached, almost forlorn look at look at love...'maxwell..' swings its mighty silver hammer of sardonicism at least as well as sondheim would with his demon barber, only many years earlier ! 'oh, darling' haunts a '50's vibe with a hard rock pulse and a swagger little richard would've been envious of...'octopus's garden' offers a delightful pitstop: a perfectly scrumptious snack by the side of the road before veering off into the dark 'i want you/she's so heavy': which...it is; a slightly meandering, sonic discourse on 'love' that is every bit the opposite of georges previous side one ode: GH wants to woo...john wants to get down 'n nasty !
...was john trying to out-heavy paul and 'helter skelter' ?
...then all the middle bits: side two begins its day trip into proto-prog rock with the soft, twinkling of 'here comes the sun' and jumble-fun-runs all the way through a carnival of sights and sounds on up to 'the end'; the beatles had, of course been here before, dabbling off and on (more on with sgt pepper than off) but with this diversion they took it all to new heights of 'what the fu..??" prog rock wonderousness ! it'd be hard to next-to-impossible to seperate out the bits...so i'm not gonna even try: to me, it has always been one long track, meandering on it's merry way, with all four offering their tips of the hat in a cacaphony of sounds and words that, to this day, just make my merry heart hum with extravagant glee.
there is not a moments time wasted: this is as tight a set of tracks as they ever laid down...even when it seems like they might be wallowing in excess it is all so dedicatedly on purpose as to not be noticable to any but the most discerning: you either 'get' what they are going for or you're left outside wondering what the heck is going on in there; just about any fan of any form of prog rock knows these doors of perception are oft left purposefully illuminated in a manner to evoke mood as well as thought...a definative guide that leaves intepretation up to the listener as often as the story teller
and, if all that isn't enough to make your head swirl...they end their musical careers together with 'her majesty'
no band will ever go out with a better note of irrascibility
now..the wee sticky bits...for me there is a mood throughout the album...i've always
felt that it all feels dirge-like...like they knew this was the last one...they tried as hard as they'd ever tried and did a fantastic job...but, underneath it all, you can sense it...far more than all the folderol of 'let it be'...there is a note to every song of finality...it pervades, somberizes...even times which could/should be exultant joy (maxwell, octopus', oh darling), feel robbed somehow, for the one thing truly missing is overwhelming zeal of happiness...is this the first goth album ?
and for that...it all also feels a bit more workman-like...for all the creativity going on...it doesn't perk-up like sgt pepper...TWA...or, heck, even 'you know my name, look up the number': like they knew, by heart, all the tools to use, but did it just by the numbers
of course, for the beatles, at that time, by the numbers is pretty freaking magnificent...but, still, for me, there is a...lingering...
i should point out that i had always
felt that way, from my first listen...even back-in-the-day, as young, uninformed tyke...thinking that 'let it be' was
the end...but this one ?? this one felt
like it was the end...
still...i wouldn't change an iota of this gem...it remains the second, very best album the beatles ever made...a giant leap over number three and a mere smidge behind the greatness that is TWA
that's my story...and i'm sticking to it