UG Team, on december 01, 2006 11 of 12 people found this review helpful
Sound: If you love The Beatles -- and I don't there are too many out there who don't -- then the latest release inspired by the band's musical contributions will be a fascinating listen. The new album Love is basically the soundtrack to the Las Vegas Cirque du Soleil show of the same name, which transforms Beatles' hits in subtle ways to create a new soundscape of sorts. Fans who like their Beatles' music without any outside meddling might find Love an abomination, but the CD actually doesn't ever radically stray too far from the original compositions.
Love, which opened in June 2006, was the brainchild of Guy Laliberte and Beatles' guitarist/vocalist George Harrison, so it's comforting to know that there was band input before Harrison's passing. The show starts out with Because, an already trippy little number that acts as the perfection introduction to a Beatles-inspired Cirque du Soleil show. With the beautiful a cappella harmonies by vocalist/guitarist John Lennon and vocalist/bassist Paul McCartney, you immediately get chills. It's actually kind of refreshing that a number like Because was used so prominently in the show. George Martin, who was handed the hefty task of putting together a one-and-a-half hour soundtrack together, should be commended for not choosing a song that wasn't a #1 Billboard hit and instead opting for one that sets the perfect mood.
Throughout the 26 tracks, there are little tweaks that are done in most every song. It's not as if Martin is making Eleanor Rigby into a dance mix. Rather, the songs feel almost the same with only subtle differences in the way they are cut. A good example of this is in Within You Without You/Tomorrow Never Ends, which are basically morphed together into one song at points -- and well done on top of it. If you have never heard either track and didn't take a peek at the song list, you might be hard-pressed to tell if the 2 tracks were separate songs before the edit. At the tail end of the track, it then quietly fades into Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds, and that simple transition is actually one of the best on the CD.
There are plenty of Beatles favorites on the CD, with Something, Come Together/Dear Prudence/Cry Baby Cry, and A Day In The Life as standouts. You might be a little hesitant to listen to a Cirque du Soleil-influenced Beatles album, but the music is still as flawless as ever. The songs were already constructed amazingly in the first place, and the addition of a few string here and there, as well as a few slight edits, only allow you to listen to the classic set of songs in a new way. // 10
Lyrics: Love covers a lot of ground in The Beatles' career, and the amazing lyrical content goes along with it. You'll get a more lighthearted Beatles from the early years, but the most impressive lyrics come toward the end of the band's reign.
A Day In The Life will forever be a fascinating song, both lyrically and musically. Lennon sings, I saw the photograph; He blew his mind out in a car; He didn't notice that the lights had changed; A crowd of people stood and stared; They'd seen his face before. The song covers a truly odd little scenario that is nonetheless enthralling from start to finish.
If you've seen any behind-the-scenes documentaries about The Beatles, you might have heard the story behind Hey Jude. The song, written by McCartney, apparently was penned for Lennon's oft-ignored son, Julian. He sings, And anytime you feel the pain, hey Jude, refrain; Don't carry the world upon your shoulders; For well you know that it's a fool who plays it cool; By making his world a little colder. Hey Jude has always been one of the big hits of the band's career, and with a story behind the lyrics it makes it all the more interesting. // 10
Overall Impression: You get a nice mixture of The Beatles' early and later work, and it's pretty phenomenal that George Martin was able to mesh them all together. There is a distinct difference in the sound of each era if you listen to every album separately, but Love makes them fit together seamlessly. Even if you don't like the idea of Beatles' music becoming a Vegas show, you will still be able to appreciate the genius in the songwriting.
For most Beatles' fans, the new release is still going to hold the same magic that other releases have also done in the past. It definitely has a soundtrack feel, and The Beatles music is so diverse and emotionally charged that it works perfectly in this format. All in all, Love embodies a huge chunk of The Beatles' music and will be an enjoyable experience for plenty of fans out there.
There will always be the critics who don't believe anyone should even think of touching The Beatles' music to edit, enhance, or anything else. If you're in that mindset, then go ahead and stick with the usual Beatles' LPs, which feature all the songs you'll hear on Love. While I can agree with this feeling to a point, Love never oversteps its boundaries too much and leaves the primary composition alone. In fact, in a song like While My Guitar Gently Weeps, there is a new clarity and stripped-down quality that I promise you haven't heard before. That track could very well be the most moving on the entire album and the worth the entire purchase. // 9
rayIII, on december 01, 2006 1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Sound: The Beatles' new album, "Love", is a brilliant compilation of remixes of classic tunes, produced by Sir George Martin, along with his son Giles. Since, 1962, George Martin has produced arguably the finest catalog of music ever composed by a single group. Utilizing tracks from various songs, George and Giles had the rare opportunity to take the master tapes from Abbey Road studios and mix and match them as necessary, coming up with amazing new tracks that provide a different look on these timeless tracks. On some tracks (like "Help!" for example), not much is done to alter the original recording, yet this classic tune, as well as all the others on the album, are of superb quality, newly remastered. The two surviving members, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, supported the idea, along with Olivia Harrison and Yoko Ono, who all saw the idea as an awesome way to provide a new perspective to these wonderful songs. The album is also a soundtrack to a new Las Vegas-based Cirque de Soleil play. // 10
Lyrics: Well, of course, it's The Beatles. I don't need to convince you these are some of the finest lyrics as well as the greatest singing performances of our time. From the pyschadelic, LSD-influenced period from about 1967-1969 as well as the Brit-Pop genre that made them the most popular band in the world, from 1962-1965 (which ultimately came to an end at the 1965 release of "Rubber Soul", often viewed as their 'transitional' album), these is a fine collection of some of the greatest songs you'll hear. One thing to be noticed, is that the track selection focuses on their latter years. However, with the murder of John Lennon in December 1980 at the hands of crazed fan Mark David Chapman, as well as George Harrison's passing in 2001, no new material has been produced by the Beatles as a group. So, for most, there won't be any new material here, pardoning the extraordinarily odd track "Gnik Nus", (coincidentally the only song I don't plan on listening to several times). // 10
Overall Impression: Needless to say, this album bears many astounding aspects, rarely found in albums being released today. It is a wonderful compilation of newly remixed versions of some of the best songs of all time. My personal favorite moments on the album would have to include the "Hey Bulldog" jam in the interlude of "Lady Madonna" and the remastered, newly produced version of George Harrison's demo of "While My Guitar Gently Weeps". If it were stolen or lost, there's no doubt in my mind that I, along with anyone else who has heard it, would purchase the album again. This CD is perfect for anyone who has worn all of the Beatles' albums to death, and is looking for something new to check out. // 10
rebel-sam, on february 26, 2007 1 of 2 people found this review helpful
Sound: Firstly, I must say the Beatles have never sounded this good before. My dad is the hugest Beatles fan, he even named me Sam Lennon Singleton, and when he bought this album I thought it would be just like all the other Beatles stuff. How wrong I could be! George Martin and his son have done a excellent job of remastering and merging the songs seemlessly. Almost every song is combined to the next track and creates a really great effect. Beatles at their best. // 9
Lyrics: Well we've all heard them before haven't we? Although they are the same old Beatles songs there is a few added lyrics here and there. For instance on 'Octopusses Garden' there is more spoken words in the background.But on the whole nothing new except for the backwards played Sun King (Gnik Nus). The lyrics are brilliant mostly the Lennon/McCartney songs but Harrison and Ringo also pulled this off nicely. // 8
Overall Impression: This is a must have CD even for non Beatle fans there is something for everyone. Compared to other Beatle albums This one shines high above the rest. Although not all the Beatles songs are on the album the best are there and digitally remastered to boot. If it was stolen I would hunt down the thief(although I can't blame him for wanting it) I would probably buy it again.The tracks that really stood out to me was'Revolution', 'Back in the U.S.S.R', 'I am the walrus' and a medley of 'Drive my car/What you're doing/The word'. I love everything about this album and I would like to hear some more Beatles songs such as'Nowhere man' remastered. All I can say now is but this album. // 10