I’m not a huge Beatles fan, I’ve just explored the surface of their music. That’s why I think I could write a review on any other album by any other of the bands I knew much better until the point I can form a solid opinion about them and their music. But anyway, the last days I’ve been listening to Abbey Road constantly and I reallly felt like writing a review about it, so here it is.
I don’t know much about the story of the band, but I’ve heard they were about to split up when this album was recorded, what makes sense, because the album shows exactly that: a band in which the members had chosen different paths for developing their music, as seen in the variety of the album, ranging from dark and experimental compositions to nice and childlike melodies which reminds of early stages of the band.
The album has a good beginning, Come together, a consistent song with excellent vocals and a bass line that gives a decadent and elegant touch to the music. The stronger and rough sound of the guitar in the chords makes a good contrast with the silences during the verses, also the bridge before the final verse, the song seems to have ‘waken up’, but immediately all slows down again. In a nutshell, it’s an elegant song with experimental traces and an original rythm, what could make it kind of ‘dark’. Something comes next. Although it goes on with that slow rhythm, where Come together was vanguard and original, Something is more melodic and brings a sweet atmosphere. Now, I wouldn’t say its rythm is decadent, a better word may be ‘lazy’. Anyway, the music expresses perfectly the feeling of contemplating the one you love, although I wouldn’t have placed this one right after Come together, it’s a big contrast for the beginning of an album.
Suddenly all turns childlike, colorful and a bit chaotic with McCartney’s Maxwell’s Silver Hammer, good piano and guitar, nice melody. Then the album turns more serious again with Oh Darling!. The highlight of this song are the vocals. That heartrending cry of ‘Oh darling’ sounds so true, and with its catchy melody, piano and ‘jazzy’ sound, it’s one of my favorites out of the album. Again, all becomes childish and cheerful with Octopus’ garden, a song that reminds me a bit of Brown eyed girl by Van Morrison. Good guitar solos and funny lyrics. And finally we get to the strangest song in the album, I want you (She’s so heavy) that takes the listener to sail the dark waters of desire. The cheerful tones of latest songs dissapeared completely, guitar riffs, bass line and slow rhyme take center stage again. The beginning is quite sensual and suggestive, until the music gets more desperate and dark at the cry ‘She’s so heavy’, to then slow down again to a sofisticated mood with great guitar riffs and drums. If listened closer, this song is very repetitive, but with clever variations that prevent it from becoming boring. The last minutes of the song are just the repetition of the same sequence, but it’s here when the music becomes darker until it ends abruptly in my opinion.
Side B of this album is the definitive proof of how important is the order of the tracks. Some songs that in a different order wouldn’t have any correlation or wouldn’t stand by their own, ordered cleverly can become a great mix, as happens in side B of this album.
This side begins with the greatest contrast in the album: I want you against Here comes the sun. This is, let’s be honest, an easy song, with easy melody and easy lyrics, but I can’t stop enjoying it. Electric guitar gives way to acoustic and jazzy open chords. A cheerful song that can remind from the coming of spring to the warmth of a new love.
Because is a track that goes a bit unnoticed for me. Anyway, sadder and a bit melancholic at the beginning, then turns all tenderness with that “Love is old, love is new”. From this one, I’m left with the vocals and choirs. Then, You never give me your money promises an emotive and sad song with that dramatic piano at the beginning, but suddenly a big change took place and becomes lively and fast, alternating with slower passages where guitar shines. Definitely a great song, I appreciate the transitions in it, but I’d like them to be more progressive.
Sun King takes us back to bass line, guitar riffs and slow rythm one more time with an hypnotic melody. I speacially like the detail of the night sounds at the beginning of the record, which evokes a summer night, until the sun begins to rise. Again, great vocals. Mean Mr. Mustard is a strange track regarding the other songs Lennon composed for this record. It seems for this one he forgets about experimentation and decided to make a McCartney like song. The same goes for Polythene Pam, where drums are given more space. She came through the bathroom window goes on with its predecessor until the rythm slows down a bit and the new song begins. Electric and acoustic guitar makes a great duet here, as well as bass. With Golden Slumbers and Carry that weight, I got my sad song (I love these ones). The beginning is so melancholic with piano and gets more dramatic when drums bounces into and vocals turns heartbreaking. The more orchestral arrangements, guitar riffs and piano accompaniment makes an epic track out of it. I’m also left with the lyrics: “Once, there was a way to get back home…”, but Carry that weight somehow reminds me of Yellow submarine. On The end, I’ll say I’m definitely left with guitars. And finally, there isn’t much to say about Her Majesty…
So, a great album that you could listen to a hundred times without getting bored. It has all: variety, good lyrics, easy songs, difficult ones, great vocals and instruments… A must listen.