Top positive review
I Love It
July 20, 2016
Until recently, the only thing I knew about The Beatles' "Abbey Road" was the goofy album cover where all four band members are crossing the street. Now I consider it one of the best, most innovative rock 'n' roll albums ever released. And I mean innovative and fresh by today's standards, not just the standards of the late 1960s. These guys practically invented the art of making melodic rock music, and they certainly weren't afraid to experiment with sounds and ideas.
"Abbey Road" offers something for everybody; a 90-year-old senior citizen could enjoy this album as easily as a 5-year-old kid. The sounds and tastes of this record are all over the map. For instance, whereas "Come Together" is a serious rock anthem with a heavy message, songs like "Maxwell's Silver Hammer" (Lennon-McCartney) and "Octopus's Garden" (Ringo Starr) are silly pop nuggets. Romance is also present, like on George Harrison's beautiful "Something" (which includes a swooning string section), and on the dramatic "Oh! Darling," where Paul McCartney belts out the lyrics in his most sincere tone. Overall, there's a boyish, innocent quality to these songs, especially lyrically, yet a sophistication to the sound and musical development. In short, the Beatles, as well as their producer, George Martin, possessed the resources, talent, musicality and what must have been a sense of finality to create one of the best records ever.
Though the Beatles were on their way out with "Abbey Road," the seven-minute-plus "I Want You (She's So Heavy)" is reminiscent of another British band on their way in back in 1969, Led Zeppelin. The song features longing lyrics and an indelibly heavy guitar riff in the style of Jimmy Page before he became a household name. Conversely, songs like "Because" and "Sun King" are positively airy and lightweight, unbelievably catchy. The Beatles thrived on hazy, dreamy songs that featured their head-in-the-cloud choruses and melting melodies, making it all seem as easy as a summer breeze.
Beginning at "You Never Give Me Your Money," the album transforms into a hot-potato medley of one sublimely melodic song after another, a shockingly creative assembly line of tracks that magically blend together, thanks mostly to producer George Martin. It's comparable to a movie score with words or a spur-of-the moment "Best of" mixture. McCartney and Lennon deserve the lion's share of credit for creating this 20-minute joyride, on the second side of one album. Despite the inevitable end of the band, the guys sound excited, joyful, happy to be alive, inspiring, a little crazy and willing to experiment on their way out.
As the music on "Abbey Road" mutates from one moment to the next -- sometimes in the space of just one song -- the lustrous sounds and sky-high choruses mix perfectly with the weightless lyrics. As the album winds down and such greats as "Mr. Mustard" and the punk-ish "Polythene Pam" rage on, the band opt to go out on a positive and touching message that truly resonates. Overall, I understand now why many have said that there are the Beatles and then there is everyone else.