The Beatles
Rubber Soul


5.0
classic

Review

by Bron-Yr-Aur USER (39 Reviews)
April 17th, 2006 | 43 replies


Release Date: 1965 | Tracklist


"Even George Martin was saying, 'Sgt. Pepper was their acid album.' That's bollocks actually, Revolver was. Rubber Soul was the pot album, as well."

These words are spoken by Sir Paul McCartney in The Beatles Anthology coffee table book. Apparently then, Marijuana makes you a more mature and better songwriter. Often considered to be the bridge between the lovable freshed face pop stars who wanted to hold your hand and the full blown psychedelic deities that would scare Nixon so much he would eventually attempt to throw John Lennon out of the country, this record is widely accepted as one of the most innovative records of the sixties.

I know what your thinking. What happened? How could one album change a groups' style that much? Put simply, what happened was the Beatles decided to be songwriters, instead of a short-lived pop phenomenon (thanks Dylan), and it shows. "Drive My Car" doesn't seem too different in the lyrics, but there is something oddly more grown up about the musical arrangement... and it's a good, peppy song as well. Immediately following this tune is a prime example of musical maturity, and a hint as to where a certain Hindu obsessed Beatle was heading towards, and it's called "Norwegian Wood". This is driven by a nice jangly chord progression played on acoustic, and the melody is doubled by George on a sitar. Ahh...the sitar. You either love it or hate it.

"You Won't See Me" isn't quite the greatest track here, but it is a well crafted pop tune with great vocals, and I've always been impressed with The Beatles gift for vocal harmonization. Lyrically it's about Paul's rocky relationship with Jane Asher, who would leave him in 1968. "Nowhere Man" is a major growth as it is the first Beatles song not to mention love in anyway, shape, or form. Add onto this some more splendid vocal harmonies, and you have a very worthy and entertaining song. Around this time, I began to notice something odd about this album. A bright-eyed young lad such as myself didn't know quite what to make of it. And then it hit me. This album FLOWED so perfectly. It seemed to me that these wacky Beatles had nonchalanty thrown together a masterpiece.

George Harrison turns in what may arguably his first song worthy of high praise in the jaunty yet cynical "Think for Yourself". This is considered to be one of the first Government protest songs, but that's another story. Then comes "The Word". I really like this song. Alot. It's got a Jazz/R and B type fusion in the verse that leads into a tremendously catchy chorus. This may be the highpoint of the album, but there are more contenders still up for that spot.

Coming after that dose of pre-psychedelia is a rather tongue-in-cheek sounding ballad from Paul called "Michelle", and everything about this song exudes French culture, from the chord progression to harmonized backing vocals. Hell, the guy even sings in French at one point. They pull it off nicely though, and not once does it sound forced or out of place.

Next The Beatles continue the tradition of throwing Ringo a song to sing, as the fans loved him and he couldn't really write a good one himself. "What Goes On" is often derided as a weak track on the album, but it's one of my personal favourites, and the guitar playing is lovely. John Lennon, apparently noticing Paul threw in a ballad, decided to tackle one himself, and he does not dissapoint. "Girl" is a stunningly beautiful song with a great instrumental bridge. However, some of the beauty is taken away when Paul and George start singing "tit tit tit tit tit" over and over in the background. Humor at it's finest dear readers.

Paul was still pissed at Jane, and one song about her wasn't going to change that. So he wrote "I'm Looking Through You", and it is superb. This is without a doubt contender number two for best song on the album. Genius is certainly on display here, especially in the arrangement of the tune. John Lennon once referred to "In My Life" as his first major piece of work, and it's really hard to argue against that point. This is truly a masterpiece, and a beautiful song. It also boasts a "harpsichord" solo by George Martin, which is actually a piano recorded at half-tempo, with the tape speeded up double for the final mix.

All of the Beatles claim "Wait" as a filler, a song put on there because EMI felt the album was too short. I, however, hold this song very near and dear, and it's the third contender for best song on the album in my opinion.

"If I Needed Someone" is the second contribution by George, and has a very Byrds-like feel to it, alot of which has to do with the addition of his famous 12 string Gretsch guitar. A very good song with rather good lyrics. The closer of the album is "Run For Your Life", a knockoff tune by John Lennon. Quite a provacative tune actually, with John basically stating to his baby that if he can't have her, no one can. Quite risque for a pop group.

This is the album that really got me into the Beatles, and I truly believe it is great from start to finish. I'm not sure if grass will truly make you a more proficient songwriter, but it certainly worked for the Beatles. 5/5



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Comments:Add a Comment 
GimmeSlack12
April 17th 2006


4 Comments


Do we really need more reviews of Beatles Albums???

I say no.

Bron-Yr-Aur
April 17th 2006


4405 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Does it really matter? If you don't want to read another Beatles review, don't click on it. I will review whatever appeals to me.

The Jungler
April 17th 2006


4827 Comments


Don't listen to that guy.
Good review. I'm a huge Beatles fan, but buying Rubber Soul never appealed to me, but heck it's probably be worth a listen. Norwiegen Wood kicks @$$
Keep up the good work.

Zebra
Moderator
April 17th 2006


2647 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

This is the one of my least favorite Beatles albums. There are some good pop songs but nothing really stands out and grabs me.
Good job on the review, but you didn't need the George Martin quote at the beginning.

Storm In A Teacup
April 17th 2006


13151 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

My opinion of this flucuates a lot. Right now I think it's good, but not one of the Beatles best.
Nice review. :thumb:

tom79
April 17th 2006


3376 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I love this album, as I do most Beatles albums. In My Life is just awesome.

Digging: Wil Wagner - Laika

Electric City
Staff Reviewer
April 17th 2006


15743 Comments


Don't listen to gimme slack, we could all use good reviews, especially on an album that's only been reviewed once.

Digging: Flying Lotus - You're Dead!

metallicaman8
April 17th 2006


4677 Comments


This is my opinion their best album

Excellent review

Bron-Yr-Aur
April 17th 2006


4405 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Why thank you gentlemen.

El_Goodo
April 17th 2006


1008 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

This may very well be my favourite Beatles album. It's the album that really got me into The Beatles (1 Sparked my interest). All the songs are excellent and all of them are catchy. In My Life is a contender for the best beatles song. And I love I'm Looking Through You.

As for the review it was a good track by track, and it was an entertaining read as a result of how you intergrated some facts that fans might not know (the Beatles singing tit for example). This Message Edited On 04.17.06

robo2448
April 17th 2006


132 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Awesome album and review. The Beatles are one of my favorite bands, so I never get tired of reading reviews of their stuff as long as the review is good and entertaining like this one.

This was the first Beatles album that was mine, not my parents, so it's very special to me. When I was like 10 years old this was my favorite album ever, and it still is one of my favorites.

I knew the tit fact:cool:

Oh yeah, and If I Needed Someone has more in common with The Byrds than just having the 12 string sound. George took the riff of the song right from the Byrds song Bells of Rhymney. He wrote a letter to the Byrds to get their approval to use it though, so he's not a thief. Beatles Anthology facts ftw. This Message Edited On 04.17.06

Bron-Yr-Aur
April 18th 2006


4405 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Mr. Zebra, thank you for your compliment. But it was a Paul McCartney quote at the beginning, in which Sir George Martin is mentioned.

Bron-Yr-Aur
April 19th 2006


4405 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

My reviews seem to be slipping into obscurity...

Iluvatar
Staff Reviewer
April 19th 2006


16089 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Well, write reviews about albums that havent been talked to death already would be my advice. Or write a really kick ass review giving a popular album a 1. That usually does the trick I've invariably found out.

Bron-Yr-Aur
April 19th 2006


4405 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

This album has only been reviewed once. It's not like a did one on Nevermind or something

Bron-Yr-Aur
April 19th 2006


4405 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I have a feeling you and I will clash alot.

Iluvatar
Staff Reviewer
April 19th 2006


16089 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

...I'm sorry, I just was pointing out that The Beatles...maybe not the best band to review if you want lots of discussion now that they have an impossible amount of reviews. And essentially, any Beatles thread encompasses Rubber Soul-Abbey Road, as all the albums from that period get brought up constantly in each thread. I was just trying to give you some suggestions.
And I sure hope we don't, I don't like confrontations.

Bron-Yr-Aur
April 19th 2006


4405 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

It is quite alright. Perhaps I'm reading to much into your comments. However, don't think I cannot sense your wit. Anyway, how is this review?

Iluvatar
Staff Reviewer
April 20th 2006


16089 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I thought I had rated it. It's good, just my previous comments still apply.

Bron-Yr-Aur
April 20th 2006


4405 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

indeed.



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