Pros: Beautiful, Innovative, a true classic
There is always such a challenge in approaching classic albums in reviews. Statuses are firmly cemented, opinions are firmly planted, and it is hard to write something fresh. Nonetheless, I continue on my quest through the Beatles' albums. Hopefully readers will find something fresh here, and if not, I am still glad to write about this classic.
Revolver was released in 1966, preceded by Rubber Soul, an album which found the Beatles exploring many folk sounds and overall stretching the bounds of rock and roll; Revolver broke down those walls. Indeed, it often hard to distinguish many of these tracks as rock and roll by definition. Sure, opener "Taxman" is fairly straight ahead. The guitars have a tasteful crunch, and the solo is wonderfully rocking. However, "Eleanor Rigby" follows with its beautiful, rich backdrop of strings and dark lyrics of loneliness and funerals. Its imagery is powerful, and the instrumentation is hardly one to suggest traditional rock and roll.
Revolver has gained its iconic status largely due to such innovations. Yet all of this experimentation works well in the structure of the songs, allowing the album to also be quite accessible; this is a rare balance. "I'm Only Sleeping" is a beautiful track, sprinkled with reversed guitar, a sound which returns at the end of the song in a flourish. "Love You Too" is characterized by the use of Indian instruments such as sitar and tabla, which give the track a unique flavor without feelign like a gimmick. The horn lines on "Got to Get You Into My Life" take the lead in the energetic rocking number.
Lighter songs like "Here, There, and Everywhere," "Yellow Submarine," and "Good Day Sunshine" take the listener through peace and all out joy. Let's face it, "Yellow Submarine" just demands the listener to sing along. "For No One" is a sad number that avoids being depressing, especially through the dash of hope in the beautiful french horn solo. Album closer "Tomorrow Never Knows" is often cited as one of the beginnings of psychedelic rock. It's a waterfall of sounds and effects, all backed by a jaunty drumbeat that pulls the listener along with the track. The mood is one of relaxation and exploration, finding new places and ideas in life.
In fact, this brings me to perhaps the best closing point I could find to sum Revolver up. Its mood is something truly unique. It has joy, sadness, and all out freedom permeating every track, yet none of these emotions ever take over or become extreme. It's truly an easy yet fascinating listen, an essential for any music fan.