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Monday, May 16, 2011

The Beatles: The Beatles (The White Album)





In just five years, The Beatles had gone from recording catchy, upbeat pop songs, such as I Want to Hold Your Hand, to songs on the completely other end of the spectrum. For instance, Yer Blues is one of the most depressing songs to come out of the 1960s. Trading upbeat and catchy chorus lines, such as "I want to hold your hand, I want to hold your hand!" to depressing ones, such as "Feel so lonely, wanna die." To think how much The Beatles had changed in a mere five year period is just amazing, both in their music, as well as interpersonal relationships. Tensions were getting tight, and that shows very much on this album. Every song on this album was worked on individually (with the exception of Happiness is a Warm Gun) and is thus more like a collection of three (well, if you count Ringo's one terrible song, then four) solo careers, with The Beatles' logo stuck on at the end. However, does this make it a bad album? Absolutely not. What it does mean is that there is very much musical exploration on the album. Songs range from somber Piano melodies (Julia) to avant garde pieces (Revolution 9) to straight up blues songs (Yer Blues.) The genre variety is just amazing. George Harrison also gets some time on this double LP, with four of his songs appearing on the album. The songs are Piggies, While My Guitar Gently Weeps, Long Long Long, and Savoy Truffle. The album's real winners are While My Guitar Gently Weeps, Happiness is a Warm Gun, Blackbird, and Julia. However, there are some really good songs too, such as Birthday, Back In The USSR, Dear prudence, Long Long Long, I Will, Helter Skelter, etc. However, there are also some just plain bad songs on here too. In my opinion, the worst songs on here are Wild Honey Pie, The Continuing Story of Bungalow Bill, Don't Pass Me By (written by Ringo Starr), Honey Pie, and Revolution 9. Then, inbetween these songs, there are some songs that are just all right, such as Good Night, Glass Onion, Ob-la-di, ob-la-da, Rocky Raccoon, Sexy Sadie, etc.

Overall, while this album has a lot of good songs, it also has a lot of bad and OK songs. Honestly, it would have been better if they had condensed this double album into a single album, and cut the fat off of the edges. Then, it would easily be one of the best albums of all time. It is a good album, no doubt, but not The Beatles' best.

(½)

(8.5 out of 10)


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