Sunday, June 10, 2007

Aimee Mann on "Sgt Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band"

Read it here.

This fun little op-ed has been making the rounds lately and not only did I enjoy it, but I agreed and/or empathized with a lot of what Aimee Mann has to say. Loving an album so much that you don't feel like ever hearing it again? Check. Coming to the realization, years later, that said album is heavily flawed and recognizing the connection between those flaws and one's sagging enthusiasm for it over the years? Check. "I’m ashamed to say it, but sometimes John Lennon’s melodies feel a bit underwritten, while Paul McCartney’s relentless cheerfulness is depressing". Oh hell yes, check. Like many concept albums, "Sgt Peppers" is a concept in search of great melodies, gonzo ideas in search of great music to carry it. It tried to let the weirdness carry the day and cover for the lack of decent tunes contained within, much like certain movies go overboard on special effects and explosions in order to cover up for the lack of a decent plot or compelling characters. The White Album is weird but is weird in so many different styles over such a gargantuan length that it succeeds through sheer force of willpower (provided you have the endurance and attention span for the bumpy ride, most people don't but I love sprawling messes done right which is probably why it's my favourite Beatles album). "Revolver" is weird but has great tunes, a lot more George Harrison than "Sgt Peppers", and a few touching/depressing bits, which is why the consensus has currently deemed it to be the best Beatles record.

Oh, and I believe that I also thought that The Lonely Hearts Club band was an actual band, back when I used to stare at the record cover in the basement of our old house.

No comments: