Key To Music Grades

A - You will never be whole without it
B - Highly recommended
C - Flawed, but still pretty good
D - It's your money, not mine
F - Why couldn't this have been burned in Fahrenheit 451?

Saturday, October 20, 2007

The Beatles - Rubber Soul (1965)

While there are those who may think me harmlessly puerile, perhaps I cross the line here when I say that the Fab Four weren't so Fab, darling, and that visiting Strawberry Fields every year is not going to bring him back, nor your youth. Such otherworldly adoration befits a person with inherently misplaced priorities -- when was the last time you visited a loved one with such frequency? Yet you sing happy tunes in mournful fashion because a man sat in a bed and protested, claimed grandeur greater than Christianity and you were one of those who believed him. Granted, I dig John Lennon, but not that much. Well, I'll move on to this review, since it is obvious that I'm more in the mood to knife you than attempt to piddle with your rubber soul.

Rubber Soul is an astonishingly bad album. Much like everything else these fabulous fabs created, this album is a certain admixture of hype, cheerfulness and populism amidst a swarthy lyrical backdrop -- which is to say, it's like many of their early records: a mushy filthy stinky bog with an occasional pearl. "In My Life" is that pearl, and very little else is of consequence. For sure, these guys have a grand collection of incredible tunes; if only they had opted to consolidate such greatness over two or three albums instead of the numberless albums, international editions, compilations, singles, etc. that we have long suffered through only to have these same recycled waxatheticals unscrupulously plucked and placed on repackaged anthologies and taken from our wallets thence. When I think of music which is designed to, in a sense, represent the pain and ugliness of humanity, I listen to Penderecki's "Threnody For The Victims Of Hiroshima," not Rubber Soul -- even though the latter provides me with ample pain and ugliness. Ouch, I've got bug splatter everywhere. Stop, Bryan. Stop. Um, I like "I'm Looking Through You" and "Nowhere Man" too. So there. D


bob_vinyl said...

I really couldn't disagree with you more. No other band did what the Beatles did and Rubber Soul was the first significant step on that path. Sure, McCartney made things light and Lennon could be one of the most dislikable characters in rock history. Nonetheless, the Beatles forced rock to look beyond C&W and R&B for influences and that's what gave it such longevity. Without the Beatles, the decade old rock n roll trend may have faded away.

All that being said, I loved the review, because it took a different approach and it's always fun to see a sacred cow get slaughtered (even when I disagree).

The Mad Hatter said...

I am conscious of the fact that my occasional ire towards these fellows belies my age; I simply wasn't there for the trailblazing. Credit where credit is due, for sure; but is Les Paul no less revolutionary? I suppose what I'm saying is, I am in agreement that The Beatles drove the vehicle, but their car was pretty ugly -- that is, until they drove into a field of green grass and everything became colorful. ;)