Obvious pretention aside, this is a band that needs no introduction. They’re the greatest band ever right? They’re the most innovative band ever right? Another way to explain The Beatles is that they’re slightly above average 60’s rock who’s fans consisted of a million girls (men) in training bras. The things they are praised for, such as creating the foundation for avant-garde, incorporating classical instrumentation, using samples, and synchronizing recording tapes, are fairly faulty considering the bands they eclipsed during their time of fame were doing not only the same things before them, but also much moreso. They also helped spawn the idea that we should be paying attention to the ideas of pop stars/celebrities on subjects they are totally unqualified to be addressing in a public forum, such as musical innovation and everything else. To carry this further, two of the band members essentially went unnoticed (although, to be fair, Ringo was probably worthless either way). Lennon and McCartney were hailed as geniuses when, without George Martin's massive contributions in terms of progression, it's highly debatable whether they would be so highly considered (McCartney’s early solo records were more interesting anyway). So, what about Abbey Road, their generally acclaimed magnum opus?
The main highlight of Abbey Road is its consistency. It jumps around different sounds while maintaining cohesiveness; this amounts to nothing more than sounding uneventful in several ways. Abbey Road is well arranged, but the songs themselves are pretty soulless. A big part of this is because of the one-dimensional vocal styles of Lennon and McCartney, for as they sing happily about Maxwell’s Silver Hammer bashing someone to death, the performance is so simple minded that if they experimented with accented words or change of tone the song would come across much more theatrically, and you can say that for most of the record. Oh! Darling is a great example of The Beatles borrowing from the past, basically ripping off vocal melodies from Smokey Robinson, and this isn’t the only instance. Here Comes The Sun is a somehow less interesting version of Here Comes The Night by The Beach Boys.
Another big detriment of the record is that while it’s consistent, it doesn’t really feel like it has a purpose. For most of the record you witness a myriad of musical styles between each song, a curious paradox considering that it comes off as an attempt to sound decent at several instruments and good at none; but at the end of the day, well-executed guitar effects doesn’t make up for the absence of true song arrangement or creative experimentation. Because acts as an interlude, and rightfully so, but with songs like Octopus’s Garden and You Never Give Me Your Money it’s obvious how little thought went into the song arrangements, as if The Beatles didn’t know the difference between pop and their contemporaries’ genres or how to meld them together.
This band sparks a conundrum; how is such basic and boring material viewed as a godsend to music, and how can people not see that The Beatles were no more innovative than The Velvet Underground or The Kinks when all they seemed to do is jump on the bandwagon of whatever was popular in the underground while merely adding their own colorless atmosphere. If you’re a fan of older music then this is by all means worth listening to but otherwise this is just another 60’s record. The Beatles are seen worldwide as one of the greatest things ever to happen to music, however looking past their fame you see nothing but another British band that holds little relevance of anything important to today’s music.