Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Review: Beatles Love

I know, I know, another Beatles compilation. But what caught my attention this time around was that George Martin and his son were asked to remix a score for a Cirque de Soleil show. The producers were given freedom to basically mash up any track from the entire collection of released music. The result was a bit surprising, and a bit disappointing.

When hearing the premise, I thought what probably everyone else thought, "This can only be a spectacular disaster."

But upon hearing a clip, I was amazed to hear how effortlessly songs meshed together. Come Together, Dear Prudence and Cry Baby Cry are blended together as if they were always meant to be.

I purchased the album and began listening with a sense of unfamiliarity and anticipation that I hadn’t experienced with a Beatles album since skipping a class in high school and listening to Rubber Soul for the first time. (I’m a rebel, I know.)

The liner notes claimed that they restricted themselves to only the material that can be found on the final releases (except one), but I’m pretty sure that the Strawberry Fields version was from the Anthology collection, so I’m not sure how truthful their claim is.

There are some impressive technical achievements in this collection, but for the most part, I was disappointed. Most of the remixing was confined to creating smooth transitions between tracks. When the songs that were more heavily tinkered with came up, I found myself uneasy, as if mentally trying to reconstruct the songs back into their original arrangements.

In the end, this release is an interesting twist that shows how versatile and enduring the Fab Four’s music can be, but will probably fail to impact anyone other than the already die-hard fans.

Here’s what I believe is the most interesting and successful track, so judge for yourself...

Beatles - Drive My Car

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