Tuesday, August 23, 2011

In which I give The Beatles a chance.

Confession: I don't really like The Beatles. I have LOVED John Lennon for a long time, but The Beatles as a group? I always saw them as overrated and not exactly my style. My friend Tom, however, thought I should give them a chance. Months ago he burned me a copy of Abbey Road, and just now I decided to sit down with as open of a mind as possible, and try to see how I truly feel about it. So I'm going to walk you through my first true experience with The Beatles... and the album that is Abbey Road. Putting on my big headphones, silencing my phone...and here we go.

Track Listing:
1. Come Together
Maybe it wasn't best that I started with this song. It's bittersweet. My favorite band, Aerosmith, has covered this song. It makes it hard to truly enjoy any other version after your favorite band has "made it theirs." But then again, no matter who is performing it, you can't deny it's funky-ness. It's simply a classic groove.

2. Something
Loved the opening riff to this song. Adored it. It's completely relaxed just like I love my music: I'm an Elton John girl, and I love "chill" music. However, this feels like something I would put on if I couldn't fall asleep at night. That's a good thing and a bad thing.
Then the song picks up a little bit: this isn't too bad! But I still have yet to be proven wrong when I say that the Beatles are overrated. Listening to this song, I feel like I should be in some indie love flick and I'm staring out the window of a car reminiscing about an old flame.

3. Maxwell's Silver Hammer
Oh geez. That was the first thought I had when this song started. I love The Monkees, and that's what I thought of at first. Then I heard the lyrics.
She's dead.
The giggle in the middle of the song was a nice touch. However, I am not feeling this song at all. Then again, I've never been one for dark humor in the slightest. I'm feeling relieved that these songs are short. I got bored with this one quickly, and I love songs with a story. But I think I'll stick with my country music for those.

4. Oh! Darling
Haha. I wanted a polka-dot dress and a beehive when this song came on. I wanted to be swaying in a high school gym with my arms on a football player's shoulders. This isn't what I would think of when I think of the Beatles. The wailing was appreciated by this girl as well as the beat. Yes, my foot was tapping. As predictable as I found this song to be, I enjoyed it just the same.

5. Octopus's Garden
Once again, impressed by the guitar. It gets me in every song. But the silly stories are getting annoying, to say the least. Don't get me wrong, I love Lennon and I love lyrics and words, but these silly stories are enough. I wanted to skip this one after 55 seconds had passed. It could not end soon enough.

6. I Want You (She's So Heavy)
Damn guitar. "I want you so bad, it's driving me mad." Pretty universal feeling, and you can't deny it. At 1 minute and 25 seconds, though, I got bored. Then I looked and saw that I had 6 minutes to go. Wait, what?! I thought Beatles songs were short! I wanted to rip my headphones off. If you find me sitting here in shock with my ears bleeding, you'll know why.

7. Here Comes the Sun
Hey! I know this song! I was introduced to this song in middle school, when my BFF at the time put it on a random mix CD for me. It's a catchy song to say the least. I do find myself bobbing my head and humming a bit. But then I think of what a lunatic that person has become since then, and I shudder a little bit.

*bathroom break*

8. Because
Guitar. This song feels so familiar. Maybe I know it? I have no idea. I kept waiting for that BOOM EUREKA moment. It didn't happen.

9. You Never Give Me Your Money
Turns out I zoned out for the first minute and 20 seconds of this song. Oops. Now tuning back in.. Snore.
Huh. Turns out the songs I'm least interested in are the longest on the album. I see a pattern here...

10. Sun King
I'm finding myself getting sleepy at this point in the album...and incredibly bored. However, I push on. This song feels like a few I've already heard so far in this journey. Urg.

11. Mean Mr. Mustard
Yawn. Didn't even realize this song had started.

12. Polythene Pam
Come on. Let's pick things up. I'm honestly bored at this point. Maybe the Beatles are best in small doses, and not including songs that are about people.

13. She Came in Through the Bathroom Window
This was a little bit better. My foot was tapping and head was moving to the music, but I didn't feel invested in it in the slightest unfortunately. I wanted to, but I just couldn't.

14. Golden Slumbers
Alright. An interesting intro again. Feels like a while since I've heard one of these. It's been a handful of tracks, anyway. I actually kind of like this song. I could see myself listening to this one again...definitely willingly.

15. Carry That Weight
Haha I recognize this one. Good stuff. I feel things picking up.... a lot. I like this one a lot, a lot.

16. The End
It's called "The End"! So the end must be near! Yes! I feel my head rocking to this one. I don't mind this one either. Am I enjoying this, or am I just excited that this little musical journey is almost over? "And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make."

17. Her Majesty
Last song! I loved the groove to this so--it's over.

Well. That was definitely an experience. What can I say that I haven't already said? I think it started out strong, I didn't absolutely hate it. But in the middle of the album I felt a lull....and I became exceedingly boring and I was itching for something greater. It ended on a nice note, but overall, I would have to say that I won't be doing this with this album again. I just didn't care for it enough. As for other Beatles music? I won't be searching for it, but if it plays in the room, maybe I won't complain.

Beatles lovers and haters, sound off!


Erica said...

Haven't heard all of Abbey Road, but I am among the masses of those who love the Beatles! Here are my fav songs, some Beatles, some just Lennon,...

1. Obla-di, Gwen Stefani has a rockin cover of this that I in turn cover when I do karaoke.

2. Beautiful Boy. I can't get enough of this song.

3. Across the Universe. Puts me in a sleepy but good mood.

4. In My Life...nostalgic

5. The Fool on the Hill...introspective

6. The Ballad of John and Yoko...for some reason it reminds my relationship with and ex boyfriend

RAY J said...

I like some of their songs (mostly the ones that everyone knows, Hey Jude being one of my favorites) but I too always thought they were a bit overrated.

Was never a big fan of Lennon though... I grew up loving Ringo as he was the original Mr. Conductor on Shining Time Station (which was one of my favorite shows as a kid, lol...) and I used to LOVE George's video for "Got My Mind Set On You" with all the furniture and deer heads coming to life, lol... (YouTube it - I'm sure you'll see why a toddler thought it was hilarious, lol...).

Luke Cloherty said...

Right. Come on! Really? I mean Aerosmith over The Beatles is mental (and I quite like Aerosmith). Please reconsider listening to their music. I think Revolver would be a great place to start. It seems you're listening out for Harrison's guitar quite a lot, which is cool, but listen to the brilliant, surprising chord changes in each song and the vocal harmonies and the complete understanding of melodic counterpoint that Paul has on every song he wrote.

Please don't give up after just one listen to one album. I urge you to listen to a wider variety of their music and more often. It's rated as the best because it really is. Much like Dylan, Bowie, The Smiths etc.

Try these songs to see if you like them:

A Day in the Life
In My Life
I Will
I've Just Seen a Face
Why Don't We Do it in The Road?
Helter Skelter
For No One

These are just a few for now, if you like these and want some more, message me.

Think about it, if I told you, say, 1984 by George Orwell or American Psycho by Brett Easton Ellis was a great book, you wouldn't just read a few pages and base your opinion on that brief experience. Please do the same with The Beatles, you will not be disappointed!

Me :) said...

I totally agree with Luke! I've found when you listen to or read something more than once, you hear or see things that you missed the first time.

M├Ągi said...

So thorough - yo!

I'm surprised I enjoyed reading your reviews as much as I did. Says a lot about your writer-skills.

David Rotherham said...

Abbey Road was from the end of their career, when they were all getting fed up with it and each other. The first four or five albums are packed with very fine songs indeed. The albums that a non-fan should start with are the 62-66 and 66-70 compilations with the cover pictures of them looking down a stairwell, and, if you can find it, the Rock and Roll Music compilation, that shows what exciting players they could be.

Shia said...

My dad is the biggest Beatles fan ever...he absolutely loves Paul McCarthy so I grew up with the music playing constantly...I like some and some I'm like you I I think some of it is truly nostalgic like the early peppy stuff. Seriously once my dad gave me Paul McCarthy's "new CD" and I think it still has the plastic on it. LOL

Amy said...

Considering an entire wall of my apartment is a Beatles mural...this post hurt my feelings a little haha. The last half of Abbey is my favorite (I consider it one song from Money on) but I can see how a non-fan would be bored. I agree with Luke- definitely try Revolver. Don't give up on my boys!

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