Here Comes the Sun Circus

בקטגוריות: Uncategorized

10 Dec 2006

Here in the hinterland winter is finally upon us. Mornings are cold and the smell of rain is in the air. But beneath the fresh smells of rainfall another smell rises, a stench of foul corruption, of dead bodies excavated, of unholy rituals, mad scientists cackling manically over exhumed corpses better left buried.

I’m talking, of course, about the new Beatles album that has recently been released.

Ok. I’m being pretty harsh here, and it’s a bit unwarranted. Let’s backtrack a bit. In case you haven’t heard, a new album called LOVE has hit the shelves. The album is a mash-up/remix made by George Martin, the Beatles’ original producer, along with his son. They took the original master tapes and mixed them together, blending songs, reversing others and transitioning between them. The album was commissioned to be a part of the Cirque de Soleil‘s show, a Las Vegas-based entertainment company launching a Beatles-themed show.

Now, let’s put for a second the circumstances eliciting this album and focus on its intrinsic merits, as it were. What we have here are 26 tracks ranging from 55 seconds to 5 whole minutes, encompassing over 40 different Beatles songs. How do you fit those in, you ask? Simple – you just splice bits of them all over. In the intro. In the ending. Somewhere around the middle. Sometimes it works fine, like Here Comes The Sun overlayed over the percussion from Within You Without You. Sometimes not so much, with A Hard Day’s Night’s opening chord leading directly into The End’s drum solo, both of which are merely lead-ins to Get Back. It’s gratuitous and unnecessary, and Get Back itself is almost entirely identical to the original version.

I know I sound as if I’m contradicting myself here, but I think that the songs which are unchanged here are also wastes of time. If I wanted to hear the original, I’d hear the original. Despite my earlier denouncements, I *do* want to hear good remixes and mashups. The problem is that a good remix shouldn’t only be interesting to people who know the originals. It has to stand on its own as a listenable song. A slowed-down Octopus’s Garden overlayed over Good Night’s orchestration and featuring Mean Mr. Mustard’s drums between verses may be an interesting oddity, but it’s a ridiculously boring song to listen to. When you get down to it, LOVE is just that – a curiosity. A conversation piece. Background music to a Las Vegas entertainment spectacle. It does not, however, stand on its own two feet as an album. The songs don’t have enough musical merit to warrant listening to more than once or twice. And that’s just a shame.

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פעם היה לי לייבג'ורנל. עכשיו הוא כאן, מגובה.