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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The Beatles: Rubber Soul

Why is Rubber Soul important? Besides the fact that, out of the 14 songs on the album, almost all of them are essential Beatles' songs? Well, Rubber Soul features a dynamic shift in songwriting for the legendary foursome. Previously, every song released by The Beatles featured love as a central theme. This all changed with Rubber Soul, specifically the song Nowhere Man. The Beatles' music also started to take on a more mature quality, both in lyrics and song structure. While the songs on this album were still, for the most part, catchy rock numbers, The Beatles were starting to settle down on this, which laid the foundation for songs like A Day In The Life or Strawberry Fields Forever. The album opener, Drive My Car, is one of the weaker numbers on the album, bringing us back to the Please Please Me days. That song is followed by Norwegian Wood, which was one of the first western songs to use a non-western instrument in recording (George Harrison is playing a sitar in this song.) Michelle won them their first grammy award ever. George Harrison also is featured more prominently more than ever, slowly unfolding into the songwriting genius that he would later become. His two songs, Think For Yourself and If I Needed Someone are some of the best on the album. Think For Yourself is a lesser known Beatles' gem that is lead by a fuzzy guitar and a double tracked bass. If I Needed Someone is a song lead by an acoustic guitar, with the lyrics basically describing how George isn't in need of love at the time. However, the album does sport a weak song. What Goes On gives Ringo Starr his first writing credit ever with the group, but the song is pointless and fairly annoying. It was one of those songs that was obviously just put on the album to take up space0 fun and catchy, but nothing substantial. The songs Wait and Run For Your Life are weak in comparison with the rest of the album, but the fact is that if any other band had written or recorded them, it would be their most popular song. That is the magic of Rubber Soul.
Overall, this is the perfect album, with only a couple of minor kinks.

(10 out of 10)


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