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THE BEATLES

The Beatles

 

Proto-Prog

4.15 | 536 ratings

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Chicapah
Prog Reviewer
3 stars How do you follow up the most influential album of the 20th century? The answer is: You don't even try. And they didn't. The "White Album" is so drastically different from Sgt. Pepper's that it could be from a totally different group. Poor George Martin. He probably never had any idea who would show up and what shape they'd be in when they did. The Fab Four were going in four different directions and the music herein reflects that emphatically. Not that it's necessarily a bad thing but the "group effort" concept was not at the forefront. There are obvious jewels here that have stood the test of time but there's also some downright strangeness going on, as well. Progressively speaking, there are several standout cuts. "Dear Prudence," "Glass Onion," "Happiness," "Everybody's got something to hide," and "Helter Skelter" definitely pushed the envelope of normal tunesmithing. You might notice that most of these cuts were from the experimental and bohemian mind of John Lennon so he has to be singled out as the carrier of the prog torch on this collection of songs. When this came streaming through my ears the first time I felt it was a bit of a letdown after the brilliant LP that preceded it and I still have trouble warming up to it even now. It's a real hodge-podge of musical styles and production and never finds a singular identity throughout. Perhaps it is just a reflection of where the Beatles were headed at the time and, in that case, it shows that the end was just over the horizon.
Chicapah | 3/5 |

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