The Rewind Button is a group blogging project instigated by Rachel Tynan. As part of her New Years’ Resolutions for 2012, she set out to listen to Rolling Stone’s top 50 albums of all time. I thought it would be fun if a group of bloggers listened to the same albums at the same time, then posted their reactions. Starting today, we’re going through the Top 40 and will be continuing with a new album every Thursday. Want to join in? We’d love to have you. Email me if you have a blog, or just offer up your two cents in my comments area below.
This week: Rubber Soul (1965)
It’s changing me. The blogging project, that is.
Because, six weeks ago, I would have done some kind of overly confident wave in the air and declared that Rubber Soul is easily the best Beatles album. Now, having given both Sgt. Pepper and Revolver more consideration than I ever thought possible, Rubber Soul seems…blander.
It’s like eating only plain angel food cake. It’s good, it’s fluffy, it’s consistent. You could eat it every day. But one day someone gives you a taste of black forest cake. It’s so rich and complex, full of rogue cherries and dollops of cream. You may not want to eat it on a regular basis, but the mere knowledge that it exists changes how you view angel food.
Rubber Soul was my first true foray into the fab four. I strayed from Nine Inch Nails, Jane’s Addiction and the other bands my quasi-goth friends claimed were cool and picked it up during the big mid-nineties re-release that some of my fellow bloggers have alluded to. While I may have pretended to legitimately like Hole in public, in private I had a thing going with Rubber Soul (and Alanis Morrissette, too…would’ve been social suicide to admit how much I loved Ironic).
I got to know it inside out; it became a comfortable old friend. For me, Rubber Soul is one of those albums where I can hear the last few bars of any given song and know which tune is coming next because they belong together.
Unlike Sgt Pepper and Revolver, the songs on Rubber Soul seem as coordinated as Martha Stewart’s bathroom. The presence of the sitar in Norwegian Wood is novel but doesn’t make you wonder whether an Indian folk music album accidentally tripped on its sari and fell into the CD changer.
Nonetheless, for all its playability, I now realize that Rubber Soul lacks the excitement and daring that The Beatles would embody in their following releases. Maybe Rubber Soul is like puberty for The Beatles – you can detect wisps of manhood in the sitar, the darker subject matter and unusual recording effects but it’s mostly just peach fuzz.
Most satisfying lick: The “nowhere man, please listen, you don’t know, what you’re missin’ verse in Nowhere Man
Lyric I relate to most right now: “So I looked around and I noticed there wasn’t a chair.” (I just moved)
Worst song: What Goes On
Make a donation to your local womens’ shelter whenever you hear: Run For Your Life
Who else rewound Rubber Soul?