The Replacements
Let It Be


4.5
superb

Review

by Quicksand USER (2 Reviews)
February 9th, 2009 | 198 replies


Release Date: 1984 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The Replacements' opus.

The Replacements’ skewed and most of all punk version of the more commercial rock around during their existence was unique and singular, and the band became their own separate deity, one that had no imitators. This quartet, which hailed from Minneapolis, also created some of the greatest albums in indie rock history with this style, including Tim, Hootenanny, and Pleased To Meet Me.

But with the exception of Hootenanny, these greats all showed The Replacements in a state of deconstruction: they’d already sold their souls by signing to a major label, band chemistry was worsening with every drunken night that guitarist Bob Stinson experienced, and none of these albums were matching up to Let It Be, the 1984 classic that showcased the band completely embracing their poppier side, while simultaneously maturing in front of our eyes, to everyone’s complete surprise. It also showed a happier Replacements, one that wasn’t constricted by major labels breathing down their back and with slightly less interband drama.

Everything you’ve read is certainly true: Let It Be is a ridiculously good collection of strong tunes, with Paul Westerberg’s songwriting and introspective lyrics all at a high here. In essence, Let It Be is sloppy, catchy garage rock at its greatest, with most songs featuring muscular hooks that lure the listener in while demanding constant replays. However, certain attributes of Let It Be’s sound--the less-than-stellar production values, the messy but endearing instrumentation, Westerberg’s throaty and decidedly un-commercial singing--give it that hometown-band feel. You can almost imagine it being produced right in your garage.

Westerberg is certainly Let It Be’s star, with his excellent vocals, which are mostly throaty croons and often resemble Bruce Springsteen at their rawest, and their sheer emotion (as gay as that sounds) make ballads such as “Sixteen Blue” all the more poignant and memorable. He also shines on the amped-up Kiss cover of “Black Diamond”, which drapes the formerly lame song with a curtain of feedback and Westerberg’s scraggly and enthusiastic rasping. Westerberg’s excitement bleeds through onto the listener, and his performance turns what was destined to be a lame filler cover into a highlight.

Most of the rest of Let It Be is just as excellent. “I Will Dare” is a funky romp that’s simultaneously catchy and messy; “We’re Coming Out” is a blazing exercise in sloppy riffing and ridiculous build-ups and dynamics that’s managed to pave the way for the whole genre of pop-punk, and the slinky guitarwork of “Seen Your Video”, courtesy of Westerberg and (Bob) Stinson, is the pure definition of awesome, from the soloing to the speedy and distorted riffs. “Unsatisfied” is also an excellent track, and is the most stirring ballad on the album, mixing Westerberg’s strained lyrics and vocals with excellent instrumentation courtesy of the other guys; particularly Tommy Stinson’s pounding basslines.

Let It Be contains its fair share of filler, but the album’s fans tend to claim that this filler gives the album a lighter mood, and, at points, I agree: this album really wouldn’t be the same if genuinely funny tracks such as “Tommy Gets His Tonsils Out” were removed. However, there’s no getting around the complete suckage that is “Gary Has a Boner”, which is an overly ironic rocker that features lyrics that try a bit too hard to be funny and witty. It’s hard to count an album down for one song, but this one deserves it.

Don’t let “Boner” ruin your own personal Let It Be experience though; this is truly an album that deserves to be cherished, and is also one where any sort of hyperbole used to describe it seems perfectly justified. Let It Be is sloppy fun, and truly deserves a spot in your collection.


user ratings (456)
Chart.
4.3
superb
other reviews of this album
JerzyNebraska (5)
The Replacements's change into adulthood....

jules4whitehouse (5)
We are uncool. While women will always be a problem for us, most of the great art in the world is ab...

Stayne (4)
...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Diarrhea
February 9th 2009


56 Comments


i don't trust anyone who actually likes classic punk.

Quicksand
February 9th 2009


4 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

album isn't punk

Tits McGee
February 9th 2009


1876 Comments


it kind of is actually

Quicksand
February 9th 2009


4 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

actually it's alternative rock, at the most pop-punk but that's still pretty far off.

Tits McGee
February 9th 2009


1876 Comments


Eh, it's got enough punk influences here and there for it to be considered punk imo, but yes, it is mostly an alternative album.

good review aswell

Quicksand
February 9th 2009


4 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

yeah i agree definitely with that, and thanks

Jawaharal
February 9th 2009


1832 Comments


Let It Be kicks ass

Merkaba33
February 9th 2009


702 Comments


the only two westerburg tracks im familiar with are the ones off the singles album and they both kick ass.

tom79
February 9th 2009


3377 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I can't decide if I like this or Tim more. Both have some amazing songs with a little filler. Good review but Answering Machine is worth a mention.This Message Edited On 02.09.09

Digging: Free Throw - Those Days Are Gone

Boognish
February 10th 2009


1003 Comments



Nice review, great album. 'Unsatisfied' and 'Answering Machien' are fucking brilliant

spoon_of_grimbo
February 10th 2009


2241 Comments


"answering machine" is an amazing song! it was that (well, a cover of it by Ginger from the Wildhearts), that got me into the replacement.

i don't think this album is as good as "tim" or "pleased to meet me" but it's still awesome.

thebhoy
Emeritus
March 8th 2009


4461 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

album kicks ass.

Yotimi
July 27th 2009


6523 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Album rules. Androgynous is one of the greatest songs ever.

Boognish
July 27th 2009


1003 Comments


Unsatisfied, Answering Machine and Androgynous = classic Westerberg. There's some filler on this though.

Tulannical
December 21st 2009


2051 Comments


album rules

danielewski
March 11th 2010


56 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

Ayon
March 22nd 2010


160 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

The quintessential Replacements album. Even the "throwaway" tracks are fun to listen to.

Miles102
May 4th 2010


9 Comments


Yeah, even the filler is worth a listen, including a surprisingly organic kiss cover.

BigHans
October 6th 2010


26454 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

LOOK ME IN THE EYE AND TELL ME IM SATISFIED

Yotimi
October 6th 2010


6523 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

It's between this and Galaxie 500's On Fire for best album of the 80s for me.



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2014 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy