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Rubber Soul

The Beatles

1965

I had always thought of The Beatles as a typical, corny 60s boy band, very much of the era.  Images of girls screaming and fainting in the audience, while the Fab Four played their happy-go-lucky, golly-jeepers pop-songs, all the while sporting their cute-as-a-button mop-tops and boyish charm.

This image of The Beatles had very little appeal to me, hence I was always a bit bemused when critics and fans alike regarded them as the greatest band of all-time.  To me, they just sang corny (but admittedly catchy) 60s love songs.  They had a lot of hits from back in the day, but I found them utterly uncompelling.

Then one day I was driving around in the fog of Daly City when a brilliant song came on the radio.  I listened quite attentively so I could catch the name of the band/song, and to my surprise it was The Beatles.  The song was "I Want You (You're So Heavy)" off of what would eventually become my favorite album of all-time: Abbey Road.  The greatness of that song piqued my interest in The Beatles, and since 90% of modern music sucked anyway (this was circa 2005/2006), perhaps I needed to dig a bit deeper into the Fab Four.  So I read up on The Beatles, and came to understand their remarkable transformation from corny teen idols to masters of the music universe in the latter half of the 1960s. 

And that transformation began, oh so subtlety, on Rubber Soul.  By 1965, The Beatles had become disillusioned with the hoards of screaming fans at their concerts and the pressures of fame, and Rubber Soul is a reflection of that.  Rubber Soul is also heavily influenced by Bob Dylan, as it is probably their most folk-centric album.  The Beatles were huge admires of Dylan, and as a result felt compelled to up their game lyrically and musically.  While Rubber Soul still has a great deal of love songs, as well as some predictably corny moments, there is significantly more depth to be found here compared to their chart-topping hits that came before.  Not just more depth lyrically ("Nowhere Man", "Think For Yourself", "In My Life"), but more depth sonically on songs like "Norwegian Wood" (sitar). 

Rubber Soul was my 1st Beatles album, so it means a lot to me.  It really changed the way I listened to music.  The way I actually heard music.  Prior to this, the vast majority of music I listened to was very rhythm-heavy, or sonically dense.  When I put on Rubber Soul, it sounded so incredibly thin.  So quiet.  I had always been a fan of melody, but I found Rubber Soul lacking any type of bite.  But after a few listens, the mood and the affecting modesty of the record started to cast its spell on me.  The songs started to get into my head, and not just because they are all so catchy, but I was really "hearing" the songs after a few listens.  "Norwegian Wood" painted a story for me, a setting, a scene.  The mood sucked me in, and I could see and feel the entire song unfolding, and could somewhat relate to it as well.  There was something deeply compelling for me about "You Won't See Me".  It sounded so genuinely aching and beautiful.  Kind of reminded me of the mood/vibe from one of my favorite songs from that era "Time of the Season" by The Zombies.  "Nowhere Man" also spoke to me in a profound way.  "Isn't he a bit like you and me?"  Brilliant.  And, I've never known a Michelle that meant anything important to me, but that song sounds like being in love in a very genuine way.  "What Goes On" conjured up images of a big hippie van travelling across the yellow-hills of Nor-Cal in the 60s, as it goes bouncing along the winding road.  "Girl" was a song that seemed written for my girlfriend at the time, and exuded the feeling I had about her to a tee. 

And, of course, there's "In My Life" my favorite Beatles song of all-time, and a strong candidate for my favorite song of all-time period.  Such a beautiful, beautiful song, incredibly powerful and affecting.  That's one of those deathbed songs.  Hard to not have a poignant sense of inner-peace and prospective everytime I hear it.  Hard to put into words how that song makes me feel.  The fact that it's my favorite Beatles song speaks for itself.

And, given the magnitude of great songs to be found here, I sometimes forget how wonderful "I'm Looking Through You", "Wait", and "If I Needed Someone Are".  Those songs resonate strongly with me as well, and as I've gotten older, some of them have taken on new meanings for me. 

And that's the beautiful thing about this album, The Beatles, and music in general.  It can conjure up profound emotions, and it's nice to hear these songs again from a different prospective as I grow older.  As I mentioned earlier, this was my 1st Beatles record, so it's always going to be a special one to me.  When compared to the epicness that was to come from the band, it almost seems underwhelming (at least sonically/conceptually), but the beauty in Rubber Soul lies in it's modesty and the strong emotional resonance and depth of the songs here.  Not my favorite Beatles album, but perhaps the most special one to me.

9.7

Revolver

The Beatles

1966

If Rubber Soul was a subtle step in a more creative, profound direction, Revolver was the gigantic leap forward.  By 1966, The Beatles had given up on touring and live performances.  They couldn't even hear themselves play half the time in a live setting, the crowds and the pressures of fame where simply becoming too much.  For the next several years, The Beatles would dedicate themselves solely to their craft, by experimenting in the studio and pushing the limits of what was considered possible musically at the time.

Revolver is where things start to get a bit strange.  In fact, for all intents and purposes, Revolver (along with Pet Sounds) was one of the first psychedelic albums of all-time.  Haven said that, it's not like the entire album is trippy or challenging, but there are some songs that will definitely get your head spinning.

And while many people cite Revolver as the best Beatles album in their entire catalog, personally I have always found it to be a tough cookie to crack.  The songs here are all over the map in terms of mood and sound, and because of that, I always have had a hard time getting a good grip on this album.  It's certainly brilliant, no doubt, but I suppose there's a lack of songs here that resonate strongly with me, at least compared to their other epics.  Cases in point are the following songs: "Taxman", "Eleanor Rigby", and the majority of songs on Side 2.  They're all good songs, but I wouldn't consider any of them to be one of my favorites from the band.  Perhaps because the album starts out with "Taxman" (which, mind you, rocks) and the drab (yet compelling) "Eleanor Rigby", two very different songs in terms of mood...they keep you on your toes, but they have never been super-satisfying songs for me to listen to.

That said, my favorite stretch of the album, and really why I like Revolver so much, are the following 6 songs that encompass the middle 3rd of the album.  "I'm Only Sleeping" is a dreamy, lazy little tune with a backwards guitar (quite innovating for the time) which perfectly captures the feeling of being a lazy pothead sleeping till noon everyday (not that I ever had any experience with that...).  That song sucks you into the disconnected mood that characterizes this set of songs, and is a good setup for the following mind-F "Love You To".  I can only imagine the reaction most people had to this album, trying to wrap their heads around the first 3 songs, the general feeling that something is amiss here, and then George Harrison launches into a full-blown sitar-driven, psychedelic Indian mind-F of a tune that "Love You To" is.  Ladies and gentlemen, we have achieved total consciousness!  The Beatles, your cute and cuddly little boy-band from a couple of years ago, are now on acid!  Hoo-ray!  Kidding aside, this experimental sitar-driven session has always been my favorite from The Beatles.  The others to come "Tomorrow Never Knows" and "Within You Without You" have always been a bit to disorienting for me to really enjoy, but "Love You To" has always sucked me in.  It's profound, it's intense, almost in a menacing way, but I have always locked-in on the message and vibe of this song.

After that intense number, the listener is lulled back into the dream-like state evoked by "I'm Only Sleeping" with "Here, There, and Everywhere".  A delightfully quiet and peaceful song that will always put your mind at ease.  A good segway to the playful yet detached "Yellow Submarine".  Everyone knows this song, but it really encapsulates the disconnected dreamlike quality of this section of the album.  "She Said, She Said" kind of snaps you out of the peacefully playful haze with its generally more electric-guitar driven sound, but it’s also quite breezy and intoxicating in its own right.  And finishing off this set of magnificent songs is my favorite on the album "Good Day Sunshine", which, as the title suggest, it's a delightfully uplifting, sunny little tune.  It sounds like the first warm day of Spring, or heading out to breakfast after a good roll in the hay in the morning.  It's a "let's go have a picnic and spend the day outside with my lady!" type of song.  Suffice to say it's a tad corny, but when a song is this mood-enhancing, its corniness is to be celebrated!

As for the latter 3rd of the album...this is where Revolver kind of loses its steam to a degree.  There's not really one song the rest of the way that I really enjoy.  They're all pretty good songs mind you, but they seem awfully pedestrian compared to what came before them.  And they lack the trippy, dreamlike-quality that makes the preceding songs so compelling.  They're all just very average songs in my book, but when you're talking about "average" Beatles songs, suffice to say they are pretty good in the grand scheme of things.

The album ends with perhaps the most overtly psychedelic song in The Beatles entire catalog, the chaotic and intoxicating "Tomorrow Never Knows".  This is the biggest Mind-F on the album, but as eluded to earlier, I have never particularly enjoyed this song much.  I can certainly appreciate it, especially considering this was recorded in 1966...the sonic wizardry to produce such a song was beyond groundbreaking.  And it is a fitting way to end Revolver, an album with shades of psychedelica, but "Tomorrow Never Knows" foreshadows the bold new territory The Beatles were about to embark on.

I have always considered Revolver a transformative album for The Beatles.  It's their loss of innocence.  It's a journey.  When it begins with "Taxman", they're essentially the mop-top Beatles, at the end of their proverbial rope, and throughout the course of the album, they shed their skin and become something else entirely.  They evolve. it's like embarking on a self-discovery trip.  You start innocently enough, and by the time it's over you've discovered more than yourself, and if you're lucky, you've achieved "total consciousness".

When Revolver ends with "Tomorrow Never Knows", we have the new Beatles.  They had ascended.  The old Beatles were dead, and the newer evolved version was born.  That's what Revolver is to me, but shedding your skin is never easy, and as a result the album itself doesn't feel as unified or cohesive compared to what was to come from them.  And although it's definitely a step forward from Rubber Soul, it lacks the affecting innocence and modesty that characterized that album.

So ultimately Revolver is kind of stuck in between those two ideas.  It's a transformative album, often compelling, but it sounds like a struggle for The Beatles soul.  An experience to be had, with a few too many pedestrian tracks to close out the album, but at the end of the day it's a classic in everyone's book.

9.5

Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band

The Beatles, holding marching band instruments and wearing colourful uniforms, stand near a grave covered with flowers that spell "Beatles". Standing behind the band are several dozen famous people.

The Beatles

1967

Sgt Pepper has quite a reputation.  Rolling Stone ranked it as the best album of all-time, and practically all critics with a shred of clout consistently place it in the upper echelon of greatest albums ever made.

I too, being the modest little music critic that I am, share that sentiment.  I knew of Sgt. Pepper's reputation before I dug into The Beatles catalog, but I wanted to make sure I didn't start with the "greatest" album in their catalog, as it might make their other albums seem less significant after the fact.  So, I went in chronological order, starting with Rubber Soul, listening to that album for about a month or so until I came to fully appreciate it, then moved on to Revolver for another few weeks, and then it was Sgt Pepper's turn.

Upon first listen, I can't say that I was underwhelmed by it, but it would also be hard to say that it fully met my expectations of what the greatest album of all-time would sound like.  It was certainly very good, and more grandiose and immediate than the prior two Beatles albums I had listened to.  It has a theatrical vibe about it, almost sounding like the soundtrack to a musical at times, or at least I have always heard it that way.  The most noticeable difference in this album and Revolver is the impressive step up in production value.  Revolver was certainly groundbreaking in its own right, but on Sgt Pepper, the Beatles really dive headfirst into a rich and lush psychedelic soundscapes.  The studio wizardry on display here truly revolutionized the way music could be made, and gives the album a distinctive personality.  As mentioned before, it's quite psychedelic in nature, but not in a bad way.  Sgt Pepper is the soundtrack to what good acid trips are made of.  It sounds bright, vibrant, and full of color for the most part, although there is enough variety between the songs to keep the listener engaged and interested, wondering what's around the next corner.   That's an impressive feat to pull off...keep the same general vibe/feeling throughout the album but offering up significant variety between the songs.  For example, "Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds" has very little in common with "When I'm 64", and "Lovely Rita" has very little in common with "Within You, Without You".  More examples could be made, but you get the point.

For such an accomplished album, with so many great songs, it might bemuse some people that my favorite song on the album (and one of my favorites from The Beatles period) is Ringo's addition "A Little Help From My Friends".  Such a delightfully warm and uplifting song with a fantastic chorus.  It's impossible not to be put in a better mood when that song is playing, it really is.  I also enjoy the rather peculiar and warped "Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite" which sounds like going to the circus on acid, and the brilliant "Fixing A Hole", which conjures up memories of rainy days strolling the vibrantly colored neighborhoods of San Francisco quite vividly.  A delightfully strange and subtly cryptic/ominous little tune.  The only song that never really did anything for me is the very McCartney "She's Leaving Home", which is a little too majestic and sweeping...and...British for my tastes, but I suppose it somewhat fits into the broader picture that is Sgt. Pepper.


But all the lavish brilliance to be found on Sgt. Pepper is really just a warm up for the monumental closing track "A Day in the Life" (well, maybe not a warm-up, but, you know..."A Day in the Life is really good...).  Easily the most accomplished, brilliant, and utterly compelling song they had made to date, it's essentially 2 songs married together in a distinctly psychedelic way.  It evokes a sense of poignant inner peace, disorienting paranoia, quaintness, and a brooding sense of epicness all within its magnificent 5 minutes and 39 seconds.  It is a true triumph of the studio, and kicked the doors of musical possibilities wide open for future generations to come.

The same could be said about Sgt Pepper as a whole, and that is likely the main reason why it is considered by many to be the greatest album of all-time.  And while I personally wouldn't give it that title, it is certainly in the conversation.  This is 60s psychedelica perfected, the first concept album perfected, and at the time anyway, the best album The Beatles had recorded to date.

9.7

Magical Mystery Tour

The Beatles

1967

Fresh off the heals of one of the most groundbreaking albums of all-time (Sgt Pepper), The Fab Four quickly got to work producing a theatrical-themed short movie dubbed The Magical Mystery Tour.  And while the film itself was widely panned, the resulting music that accompanied it was generally acclaimed by critics.  That said, it was virtually impossible for The Beatles to produce a follow-up that would exceed or equal the magnificent album that was Sgt. Pepper, and even though Magical Mystery Tour has it's fair share of classic songs on it, overall, it fails to live up to it's predecessor.  Perhaps that's because The Beatles were continuing to push the proverbial "psychedelic envelope" on Magical Mystery Tour after they had basically perfected it on Sgt Pepper.  So it kind of comes off like a rehash of Sgt Pepper somewhat, and like most sequels, it doesn't live up to the original.  The main difference between the two albums is the fact that Magical Mystery Tour does not flow nearly as well as Sgt Pepper, seeming less unified and somewhat choppier in parts.  Having said all of that, this is The Beatles we're talking about, so the vast majority of the album is quite brilliant.  It's probably the band's strangest album, it's most psychedelic.  After this, the band would relocate to India to record The White Album, which featured a less theatrical, psychedelic sound, but was arguably more experimental in terms of musical styles.  Magical Mystery Tour was the last of the vibrantly-colored, blatantly psychedelic albums The Beatles would record, as it was clear they had pushed that element of their sound (and style) to it's limit on Magical Mystery Tour.

9.1

The Beatles (The White Album)

The Beatles

1968

I have never been a particularly big fan of double-albums, largely because they end up being disappointing.  It sounds great on paper.  Wow, two albums from a band you really like...that must mean it's going to be twice as good as a regular album!  Or, wow, a double album, this is going have some sprawling epic theme to it.

The unfortunate reality with double-albums is they're almost always going to have filler on them.  The odds are simply greater.  If you stick with one album, and slap 10-15 songs on it, there's less room for filler.  But if you want to slap 25-30+ songs on a double-album, you're going to have to pull off one hell of a trick to keep it listenable for the entire duration.  Given that double-albums are twice as long, it's twice as hard to keep the listener's attention the whole time.

And being the big champion of the album-format that I am, believing that an album is to be a unified listening experience with as few low points as possible, double-albums are always asking for trouble in my book.

So when it was time for me to make my way to the imfamous White Album, knowing that is was a double-album, I approached it with a bit of trepidation.  My double-album prejudice was wary of this record by the almighty Beatles, but I was also highly intrigued to see how they actually pulled it off (it was certainly highly acclaimed in it's own right).  There was also a bit of mystery regarding this part of their career for me.  I was familiar with their transformation from corny pop-rock icons to psychedelic musical deities, but I admittedly was a bit ignorant of The Beatles style in their final years.  I was under the assumption that Sgt Pepper was the end-all be-all of their catalog, that it was essentially the pinnacle, and the final albums were nothing more than graceful exits from the stage.  I knew The White Album and Abbey Road were highly acclaimed in their own right, but I had no idea that they would come to be my two favorite albums in their entire catalog.

That said, perhaps because of my double-album biases, upon first listen I found the White Album to be slightly underwhelming.  You see, The White Album is fairly significantly different from everything that had preceded it.  It has a bit of a tossed-off, collage-type vibe to it.  The sheer number of songs and number of musical styles here can be difficult to wrap your head around at first.  The main thing that jumped out to me is the lack of the vibrantly-colored, exuberant type of psychedelica that characterized Sgt Pepper and Magical Mystery Tour is largely missing here.  I found that both refreshing and confusing, as the psychedelic nature of their work could be a bit suffocating at times, but I had a hard time wrapping my head around this newer sound found on The White Album.  Again, that's probably because the album does not have one unified style of music that can be associated with it.  On the contrary, The White Album actually incorporates virtually every style of music across its 30 sprawling tracks.  There's folk, folk-rock, the blues, psychedelica, heavy-metal, country, orchestra, music hall, baroque, and plenty of quirky experimentation to boot.

So in other words, the music found on The White Album is all over the map, and while you might think that would account for a scattershot/unfocused album, it is in actuality anything but.  First of all, practically every song here has a unique charm about it.  The Beatles never sounded more personable, more open, or more free on a record.  There are no overarching themes or ambitions to absorb here, and it honestly sounds quite refreshing.  The experimental nature and variety found on The White Album keeps the listener fully engaged throughout, wondering what type of quirky little tune is around the next proverbial corner.  But there's no brooding sense of psychedelica to be found here.  These songs approach the listener easily, unassumingly, and playfully.  Some songs (particularly the quieter tunes) may sound quite unassuming upon first listen, but therein lies the beauty and the charm of The White Album.  It has a certain quirky, embracing, and warm spirit about it, but again, it's very friendly and easy.  The Beatles really let down their guard here, and they feel very free to experiment with whatever type of musical styles they please.  There's something very embracing about that, especially considering there are at least a couple of short quirky songs that are just plain odd.  The fact they were willing to throw such quirky little tunes on this album is admirable, and contributes to The White Album's broader personality.

The Beatles recorded this album on a retreat to India, and that sense of genuine freedom and peace is evident throughout these songs.  And although I've talked a lot about the quirkiness of this album, what truly makes it special is the more mature, soulful sound which can be found on the albums best songs.  "Dear Prudence" encapsulates that vibe and the sound of the newer, more mature Beatles to a tee.  The beauty and depth of this song is profound, and it has always been my favorites on the album.  "Oh-La Di, Ob-La-Da" is one of the most infectiously happy and sweet songs in The Beatles' entire catalog, and are words to live by really.  Eric Clapton stops by and contributes an deeply soulful performance with George Harrison on "While My Guitar Gently Weeps".  Clapton + The Beatles?  Pretty hard to go wrong with that, and the song lives up to expectations and then some.

In terms of the evolution of their sound, perhaps the most impressive track found here is "Happiness Is A Warm Gun".  Just because The Beatles were moving away from psychedelica doesn't mean they weren't making incredibly impressive experimental compositions, and HIAWG is a true reflection of that.  An absolutely brilliant song.  And, as mentioned prior, the quieter, folkier numbers might sound somewhat unassuming at first, but I believe that is where you can find the true spirit of The White Album.  "Blackbird", "Julia", "Mother Nature's Son", and "Long Long Long" can evoke a transcendent experience if you let them suck you in (listening to them while walking Golden Gate Park in SF doesn't hurt either).  They are really pristine, spiritual songs, so beautiful and somewhat melancholy in nature.  They're special.

There are many other songs worth noting here, for the sake of not writing a review the length of Gideon’s Bible (Rocky Racoon), I will sum it up like this: The White Album can be played practically anywhere, anytime, and in any state of mind.  It can be background music, it can be focused on intensely, it can be your companion walking through a beautiful setting, it can put you on a different plane in the midst of the chaos of the city...it can do all that and so much more.  It's relaxing, entertaining, meditative, and highly enjoyable, and there's not one song on here that I would do without.  It all fits into the broader vibe of an utterly charming and friendly record.  The White Album is a very special album, it evokes a unique spiritual feeling in me every time I listen to it, but not in a heavy or burdensome way.  For that, I truly cherish this record and what it represents.  Peace of mind, and love.

9.8

Abbey Road

The cover of Abbey Road has no printed words. It is a photo of the Beatles, in side view, crossing the street in single file.

The Beatles

1969

How does one write about their favorite album of all-time?  I mean, how am I supposed to do that?  How is any of the unworthy dribble I'm about to spew out about this album going to come even remotely close to doing it justice?

That question is why I actually write album reviews.  I am fascinated in the ultimately futile effort of trying to cerebrally explain something that is such an organic and beautiful thing to me: music.  My love of music is a powerful thing, a spiritual thing, but perhaps more importantly a natural thing.  Writing is a mechanical, cerebral process, but it can be an expressive one as well.  It's a unique challenge to try and put into words something as natural and beautiful as music.  The two ideas seem to operate in their own respective spaces.

So it is with that self-defeating prophecy I will attempt to review Abbey Road.  Truth be told, although I feel fairly confident in saying this is my #1 favorite album of all-time, there are at least 4-5 other albums that could hold that title on any given day as well.  But when you're talking about near perfection in practically all categories, Abbey Road is the clear winner overall.

Abbey Road is first and foremost a reflection of a fully matured and evolved band.   The Beatles started out making corny pop-rock love songs, mop-top darlings that they were.  Strapping young lads performing in front of thousands of adoring fans, young girls fainting in the audience, etc.  That whole thing.  But after the weight and pressures of mega-fame left them feeling disillusioned and unfulfilled, they effectively pulled back from the touring circuit to concentrate wholly on making great albums in the studio.  And the results were Rubber Soul, Revolver, Sgt Pepper, Magical Mystery Tour, and The White Album.  Each of those albums displayed exciting and groundbreaking evolutions in their sound.  Rubber Soul was pop folk-rock essentially perfected, Revolver stretched their sound into truly groundbreaking sonic experimental territory at times, Sgt. Pepper was their psychedelic masterpiece, Magical Mystery Tour pushed their psychedelic sound to its limits, and The White Album, was, well, something else entirely, and arguably the most natural and beautiful thing they had done to date.

The White Album featured a more mature sounding Beatles, a more reflective Beatles, a truly free Beatles.  It was all over the map, but its charm lied within its quirkiness and playfulness.  And the multitude of styles on display there were incredibly impressive.

On Abbey Road, the Beatles take the playfulness and depth found on The White Album and marry it together with their more ambitious concept album format that was executed perfectly on Sgt Pepper.  Abbey Road, perhaps even more-so than Sgt. Pepper, feels like a unified listening experience.  The difference is Sgt Pepper is heavily psychedelic, whereas Abbey Road just sounds like pure gold.  It's less intoxicating, it's less dense (kind of), and it feels less disorienting and challenging.

Abbey Road is basically the fully realized evolution of The Beatles.  The album has a uniquely rich and smooth production which gives it a distinct sound and vibe.  It is not only the most mature sounding Beatles album, but also the most soulful.  The White Album had a very freewheeling, anything-goes vibe about it, whereas Abbey Road sounds nothing short of epic at times.

I could talk about the individual songs here (all of which are truly fantastic) but Abbey Road is so much more than just the sum of its parts.  When I listen to Abbey Road, it actually kind of gives me faith in the rest of humanity as a whole.  Humans can be a wretched little species, but we're not all that bad.  Abbey Road helps remind me of that, the fact that there is actually a lot of good and brilliance out there in the world.  It's got that kind of wholesome, all encompassing warmth and brilliance about it.  It's so incredibly soulful, playful, intense, epic, endearing, charming, fun, and magnificently grand as a whole.  Not only that, but this album is absolutely drenched with beautiful memories and feelings to me.  Certain images flash through my mind when I hear these songs, and intense (mostly positive) emotions come bubbling up to the surface of my brain and flood my soul with love and warmth.  Some songs induce a feeling of melancholy, but in a profoundly beautiful way.

I think this album reminds me of perfection.  It's the soundtrack to heaven for me.  And not the fairy-tale heaven you're taught about in church, but rather the heaven that comes from peace of mind, of happiness, and of love.  The heaven that exists in many places throughout the world and in many people’s hearts throughout the world.  It's a freeing feeling, a warm feeling, a satisfied feeling.  I have listened to this album and felt those feelings at certain times and places.  I also have visions of listening to this album in the future, and I look forward to the new memories that this album will bring me for different times in my life as I grow older.  This album continues to collect good memories for me as I journey through my life, and I feel like it's only just beginning.

The fact that I think of a piece of music in that way, makes it more clear to me that Abbey Road is my favorite album of all-time.  It's not the only album that carries that amount of weight, but the tiebreaker lies within the music and the songs themselves.  The music is beautiful and executed in such a modestly epic fashion, it truly is something to behold.

I love Abbey Road.  It taps into all the positive, beautiful, and poignant emotions I have in my soul, and brings them out in a very unique and enriching way.  If music is my religion, then I think Abbey Road may be my bible.  That's the best way I can express how much this album means to me, and how it makes me feel.

9.9

Let It Be

The Beatles

1970

Let It Be doesn't quite hold up to anything the Beatles had made in the 5 year stretch of profound brilliance leading up to it.  That said, it's still better than most of what their peers were pumping out around the same time.  It basically sounds like a Beatles B-sides record, the general vibe/style recalls The White Album, but less than half of the songs on Let It Be could hold a candle to anything off that album.  But there are a few classics to be found here, most notably the title track, which is simply one of their best songs ever (although I prefer the "Naked" version of that song).  "Two of Us" is sweet and endearing (kind of like the album as a whole), "One After 909" is a lot of fun, and "I've Got a Feeling" and "Get Back" are also pretty satisfying.  The rest of it feels a bit too tossed-off, and dare I say amateurish, at least by Beatles standards.  Ultimately a Beatles B-Sides album is going to be better than most other albums, and that's basically the case on Let It Be.

8.9

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