The Replacements
Let It Be



by Stayne USER (2 Reviews)
January 14th, 2005 | 18 replies

Release Date: 1984 | Tracklist

In 1984, the Minneapolis centred quartet The Replacements had recorded two full-length albums and the Stink EP. They had floundered around the burgeoning independent scene for only a few months when they were signed; though their early albums showed much promise, that potential wasn't fully realized until the release of Let It Be, still considered by many to be The 'Mats best album.

The first song, "I Will Dare", was released as a single early on in the recording process, and it received favorable reviews. The song has a bright, optimistic shine to it, despite the somewhat tired and bored lyrics by Westerberg, the group's chief songwriter. It even features a guest guitar solo by Peter Buck of REM, one of The Mat's biggest fans.

After that comes "Favorite Thing", another one of Westerberg's classic rock attempts and successes. Here's a shock kiddies: It's a love song. Back in the old days love was still considered a valid subject for the indie crowd. A doubled, harmony guitar solo by Stinson brings the song to a great climax before the simple breakdown.

"We're Comin' Out" starts off sounding like another one of Westerberg's classic throwaway songs, but it comes back around to become another Replacements classic when the pace slows and the pianos come out. The lyrics "one more chance to get it all wrong" echo the views of Westerberg's generation as well as him, and it's a great bold statement made by someone who probably couldn't care less about bold statements.

"Tommy Gets His Tonsils Out" is the albums first "meh" song. It's interesting though, because of the unusual form and its simple, anti-dentite lyrics. Westerberg's trademark vocals turn this song into a fun, jam around type of song.

In the middle of the album comes the second of the album's songs destined to be absolute classics: "Androgynous". Paul whips out the piano and sand blocks, and Mars provides very simple percussion near the end. The song features the tale of one "Dick" and one "Jane", who enjoy confusing genders in the way they dress. While at first the song seems laughably sophomoric, after a while one realizes the importance of its individualistic message.

In a nod to their sometimes almost satirical live covers, the sixth song on the record is "Black Diamond", originally by KISS. The Mats somehow manage to actually improve the song through their annihilation of it. They turn a very cliche riff from KISS into a more rocking one. This also features another amazing solo from Mr. Stinson.

Leading off the second side of the original LP is what some consider to be the finest example of The Replacements on tape: "Unsatisfied". It begins simply enough with a solo 12-string jaunt by Westerberg, but with a quick shout turns into one of the most rousing anthems of disillusionment ever. Paul mumbles, "Look me in the eye and tell me, was you satisfied"" and once again speaks for his entire generation without even trying. It's an incredible song, and the album is worth purchasing simply for this one alone.

"Seen Your Video" begins as an instrumental jam courtesy of the boys, but builds to an anthemic climax once again and pulls itself out of mediocrity. The message is simple enough, as its yet another diatribe against the commercialization of music through MTV. Apparently, things never really improved after 1984 because this song still stands as strong as it did then. When Westerberg hollers, "Seen your video/ that phony rock 'n' roll!" one can still turn on the television and see exactly what he's talking about.

"Gary's Got A Boner" is a fun, punk skank, but opposed to all the other "throwaways" on the album, nothing emerges to salvage it of mediocrity.

"Sixteen Blue" is a tender ballad in the old sixties style. It fits unusually well with Westerberg's gruff delivery, but then again most of the songs you wouldn't expect to fit. Personally, I dislike the song. But others definitely consider it to be an instant classic, so I'll have to put that out there.

The album's closer, "Answering Machine", is perhaps one of Westerberg's most heart-tearing songs. Probably written somewhere close to the middle of nowhere during a dismal tour, it focuses on a miserable disconnection from everybody through poor communication. Taken literally or metaphorically, it's depressing as hell.

With that, the album is complete: in a scant half hour, one is taken on a great journey through the life of a young adult growing up in the shambles of his surroundings. This album is an enduring classic; first in it's field and then overall. This album merits 4/5 stars.

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Comments:Add a Comment 
Dimes Make Dollars
December 23rd 2003


I'm giving this a try. I've been meaning to check them out, and now I have a starting point

Dimes Make Dollars
January 5th 2004


It took me long enough, but I checked this out. It's ****ing great. "Androgynous" is meh, but I really like the rest.

Dimes Make Dollars
April 8th 2004


"Androgynous" has grown on me. I like all of them. This is now one of my favorite albums ever.

March 3rd 2005


Absolutely brilliant album. Androgynous and Answering Machine are true classics, but at least half of the songs here are brilliant, and the rest are very good. Definitely my favourite Replacements album.This Message Edited On 10.17.05

March 3rd 2005


'Answering Machine' is overrated but this album still rules.

June 16th 2005


Album Rating: 4.5

Great, great album.

June 16th 2005


Album Rating: 3.0


October 8th 2005


Ha ha, I didn't know Nacho had never heard this album when the review first came out. I always assumed he knew of everything long before I started posting here.

Oh well, great album. First two songs = gold.

October 8th 2005


Album Rating: 3.0

I love seeing Nacho's progression in this thread.

I agree with my above contribution.

October 8th 2005


This is a great album.

October 9th 2005


Album Rating: 4.5

Great album, but Tim is better.

Simon Kent
April 13th 2006


Album Rating: 5.0

this is not the best replacements album but better than some

April 22nd 2006


Album Rating: 4.0

"Closer then you know/Love each other so/Androgynous...I love that line. This is a good record and begins the more "serious" part of the Replacements career after all the garage/pop/punk of the very earliest years. The silly stuff is still there, but Paul is definitely emerging as a deeper and more thoughtful songwriter on this album. Many of the tunes are also better crafted and performed then on previous albums. This album, Tim, and Pleased To Meet Me taken together are three of the better albums of the eighties, IMO. And I love the Kiss cover.

The Jungler
September 7th 2006


Album Rating: 3.5

I read about these guys in Our Band Could Be Your Life, I think I might like this..

Apocalyptic Raids
October 14th 2007


Album Rating: 4.5

Androgynous is so good.

September 25th 2008


Album Rating: 4.5

Sixteen Blue is fucking amazing.

November 8th 2008


Album Rating: 4.5

Ahh this is so damn good. Sounded different than what I imagined, but in a good way. I love the guitar tone's and Paul's voice. I Will Dare, Unsatisfied, Sixteen Blue, and Androgynous are my favorites right now. I'm listening to Tim right now.

February 7th 2009


Album Rating: 4.5

Androgynous is soooo good

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