Saturday, January 30, 2010

I'm With Them

I've taken the last few weeks to play With The Beatles repeatedly, letting the music soak in. It was the second album from the Fab Four and other one I'd never heard in its entirety. To be honest, there were quite a few songs I'd never heard at all. Still, that's the fun, isn't it?

For me, this is an album that gains steam as it goes along. Sure, there's fun in the descending chords that end "It Won't Be Long" and the nifty bassline working with McCartney's melody in "All My Loving." I was surprised to hear "All I've Got To Do," which feels like it could be a protoype for low-fi indie rock - the instrumentation is sparse but effective.

George Harrison really shines on his first Beatles original, "Don't Bother Me." It has a nice groove to it and a short, sharp guitar solo. The harmonica comes out for "Little Child," which feels like a 50s-style rocker. "Till There Was You" has such a pretty melody but such goofy lyrics - "There was music and wonderful roses." You know, I don't remember that song from The Music Man but it's been a long time since I've seen it.

The covers continue with the great "Please Mr. Postman" as the boys harmonize and a solid take on Chuck Berry's "Roll Over Beethoven." The one original stuck between all the covers is "Hold Me Tight" with its fun call-and-response vocals.

I love their version of Smokey Robinson's "You Really Got a Hold on Me." John and George sound great together harmonizing on the verses and when Paul joins in on the Plus, Ringo's drum fills are great.

Speaking of Ringo, he rips it up on "I Wanna Be Your Man" along with some cool Hammond B3 organ and nice lead work from George. What a great little tune. And speaking of George, he's back in the lead with "Devil In Her Heart" and so are the great three-part harmonies. Then speaking of Ringo again, his drum work and the piano are highlights of "Not A Second Time."

By the time we get to their cover of "Money (That's What I Want), I realize the album has just gone full-speed ahead and it brings it on home is a rocking way. Hey, this band was pretty good!

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