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The Beatles - Rubber Soul (US) CD (album) cover

RUBBER SOUL (US)

The Beatles

 

Proto-Prog

2.59 | 28 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Sinusoid
Prog Reviewer
2 stars I am reviewing the American version of this album since this is the one I have familiarity with. Other than a couple of tracks, it's the same as the British version. But the American version is what I own although I've heard the ''missing'' tracks elsewhere, and my opinion of RUBBER SOUL doesn't differ enough to warrant a review on the British version.

I must repeatedly point out in these reviews that I am by no stretch of the imagination a Beatles fan. I never grew up with them. My parents (nor other family members, come to think about it) were never Beatle fans either. I've discovered their albums completely in retrospect and found some good albums, some bad albums, and some mediocre albums. I would define RUBBER SOUL as a mediocre album.

Often considered the first classic Beatles album (let alone one of the greatest albums in music history), RUBBER SOUL lacks confidence. It's as if the Beatles were trying to get away from the Beatlemania pop tunes that made them famous but weren't fully committed to make a complete transition into the art rock they later became critically renowned for. Songs like ''Wait'', ''Run for Your Life'' and ''The Word'' sound a little bit too close to the pop the Beatles had marketed their whole careers, none of which are that memorable except the chorus of ''Run for Your Life'', which makes me cringe.

I will give in and admit there are some signs of sheer progression. The most notable is ''Norwegian Wood'', mostly with the sitar's timbre giving a warm, brightness to the track. Definitely the most memorable and best from the album. The American release has the song ''I've Just Seen a Face'' which harkens to a Dylan style of folk, but with much better singing. Harrison's contribution (''Think for Yourself'') might have been forgettable like the majority of the album if not for the fuzz bass. I'd imagine Chris Squire wore this track out when he first got started with Yes.

One huge problem from my understanding is that RUBBER SOUL is just boring to me, and I can never remember half the tunes when I put the album down. Part of the reasoning behind this is that I tend to (possibly wrongly) associate the style of music presented here with the singer/songwriter genre, a genre I absolutely loathe. I find the singer/songwriter genre weak for it being too lyrically oriented, musically unengaging and much of the ''singing'' is bad. The Beatles at least had decent singers, but I'm rarely invested emotionally into the music.

Don't get me wrong, the Beatles made much better albums than this later on. In fact, the next album REVOLVER made a more confident push into experimental pop while still keeping relatively safe structures. So, I'd start there if you want to discover the Beatles in retrospect. RUBBER SOUL is a nice historical document of history, but nothing more.

Sinusoid | 2/5 |

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