Review Summary: . “Abbey Road”, contains four classic songs, two experimental songs, and 8 songs at or under the 2:26 mark. That is what makes this album different from every other Beatles album and why it is one of my favorites.
The Beatles- Abbey Road
The Beatles were always considered trailblazers in “pop” and “rock” music and were known for putting out albums with very catchy songs with some experimental songs mixed in. On "Abbey Road", The Beatles take a risk by having some classic songs, mixed in with experimental songs and eight songs under the length of two minutes and twenty-six seconds. Do all the songs work together to form a cohesive album? Or does the album fall short of what it could be?
"Come Together", is the perfect opener for the album and may be one of the best opening tracks in history. What makes the song great is the way the instruments slow down or speed up with John Lennon vocals. For example if John Lennon is getting ready to sing the chorus the guitar will speed up, and the beat produced by the drums will change immediately. "Come Together", is also a very catchy and meaningful track. "Something", is a classic song because it shows why the band is so good at making love songs. Harrison sappy vocals are combined with a great guitar riff and well written lyrics. This is one of my favorite Beatles songs because the song is organized perfectly, as it goes from verse to chorus to breakdown. The instruments on this track also pick up intensity during each of these parts, which help highlight Harrison's vocals. This same love song formula is used for the track "Oh! Darling", except McCartney puts much more emotion in his lyrics during the chorus of the song. The guitar work on "I Want You", is in my opinion the best the Beatles have done. The guitar solo on this track is tremendous and the riff to start out the song is also good. The guitar work just goes together with Lennon vocals in a unique way. The song also clocks at 7:46, this showing how much The Beatles have progressed from making hit songs that only lasted a little over two minutes. The thing that makes "The Beatles" one of the greatest rock bands of all-time is that all there songs can be considered classic for different reasons, as "Abbey Road" proves. "Come Together", is a classic because it is one of the best album openers of all-time "Something", is a classic song because of the way the track is organized, "Oh! Darling", is a classic because of McCartney's vocals and "I Want You" is a classic because of the guitar riffs and solos throughout the song. This alone makes The Beatles a unique and great band.
The Beatles were known for experimentation on "The White Album". The band could experiment with any type of noise or lyrics on that album and it would work because the band had the songs planned out beforehand. On "Abbey Road" the songs take a while to grow on you. The tracks "Maxwell's Silver Hammer" and "Octopus's Garden", just fail in the way the "The White Album" experimental tracks excelled. The songs have no organization and the instruments played on them are not well done. They lack guitar solos, high notes, or rhythm changes. If they had guitar solos, high notes, or rhythm changes, this would change the whole dynamic of both songs. But what we are left with is what seems like three to four minutes of filler and songs that were recorded in about 10 minutes. This is unexpected sloppy work by The Beatles, a band that was usually great about song organization and making a song "unique".
After I bought this on CD, I put the tracks onto my ITunes and I saw that the last half of the album basically had all short songs. I had no expectations for these songs and I just dismissed them all as filler. When I listened to the songs I was amazed at three things: the way the songs flowed together, how strong the instruments were and finally how catchy the songs still were. This string of songs by itself almost forms a separate album, as it features new ideas and experimentation. All of these songs are at least average and some of them are close to being considered classics. It is hard to describe how a jam session at the end of one song can perfectly flow into a guitar solo at the start of another one, but somehow The Beatles make it happen. It is hard to think that a song under 2 minutes can be stuck in your head for days, but the Beatles make this happen. This proves that the band was at its peak of creative excellence, take scraps from songs and making them function as a unit. The Beatles were much more than "pop" and "rock" pioneers, they were great on putting songs together to flow as one even when they didn't have to. This part of the album is not only surprising, it is pure genius.
What separates "Abbey Road" from your average Beatles album? "Abbey Road" is different because it creates a unique atmosphere not found in any other Beatles album. "Abbey Road" is different because of the last half of the album, the flow to the songs, and how the Beatles made it work. "Sgt. Peppers" doesn't have the flow of "Abbey Road", or can boast about a seven minute and forty-six second classic song. "The White Album", can't say it had a string of songs flow together like the last half of "Abbey Road". "Abbey Road" is different than any other album by this incredible band and if you don't like it, you at least have to respect the experimentation and creativeness shown by the band on this album. It works together as a cohesive album even though common sense says it shouldn't. The way the last half of the album works together is beyond explanation. The only explanation I can think of is that this is the Beatles and they can do things that other artist just simply can't. And no one will ever be able to replicate the near classic album that is "Abbey Road".