Sound — 9
After the 1967 release of the immensely popular "Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band", the Beatles made the decision to follow it up rather quickly. Almost too quickly, to be honest. Only this time, instead of the pop sensation side of the Beatles, they completely caught fans off guard and released their most darkest, psychedelic album to date, "Magical Mystery Tour." This album completely defeated the purpose of what the Beatles were about, at this stage in their career. In 1967, random waves of psychedlia swept across the world and this album signified the Beatles conforming to this trend. "Magical Mystery Tour" featured trippy musical passages, beautiful piano arrangements, as well as the ever strong voice of John Lennon, which, in my opinion, was his best album vocally. One song in particular that was especially trippy was "Blue Jay Way." It's just a chill song with an almost constant rhythm and ingenius vocal effects, which were used on a vast majority of the album. Songs like "Fool On the Hill" give listeners a taste of the experimental nature of the Beatles as well. On this track, George Harrison is featured on harmonica, one of his high points on the album, in addition to a beautiful flute section provided by Richard Taylor. However, my favorite sounds that came from this album was on "Penny Lane." It's sang almost in an upbeat manner, poppy like, if you will, however, some pieces of this song strike me as dark, in an almost latent way. I can't really describe it. You'd have to listen for yourself to understand. The fact that piano is featured on almost all of the songs with trippy vocals give Magical Mystery Tour "funeral quality." I'll just leave it at that. To put it Layman's terms, the album's sound was quite fantastic and it was changed for the better.
Lyrics — 9
Well, it is the Beatles. Do I need to say more? Of course the lyrics are going to be steps ahead of everyone else. It's given. The word I would use to characterize the lyrics on "Magical Mystery Tour" would probably be "difficult." The way the songs are set up give you some difficulty in deteriming what the songs themselves mean. "Baby, You're A Rich Man" is a prime example of that. Here, the song's chorus section is a combination of two different songs, one written by Lennon, the other written by McCartney. Most bands could not pull this off, but combining lyrics to make an incredibly catchy song just further reinforces my thoughts on the Beatles being the best songwriters ever. Overall, the lyrics carry you somewhere psychologically, but due to their "difficulty", it takes the mind awhile to interpret what everything means, adding to the psychedelic quality of all of the songs.
Overall Impression — 9
I love this album dearly. It was my first Beatle album and I think it's the easiest album to get into, though the average Beatle fan would say "Abbey Road." My favorite songs at the moment are "Hello Goodbye" and "Blue Jay Way", even though every song on the album is thoroughly enjoyable. That's what I love about it. You can listen to this album over and over again, but the songs never get old. You find something different about the Beatles' music with every listen, and that, singlehandedly, makes 1967's "Magical Mystery Tour" one of the most brilliantly different records ever recorded.