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Wednesday, July 13, 2005


My friend Jay had touted Ringo's drumming on "Come Together" recently, and so the other day I pulled it out, and -- no surprise -- he was right about the beautiful, glowing *rightness* of Ringo's move to the ride cymbal in the instrumental sections and his never-repeating, always tasty fills. I listened to most of the album, skipping "Maxwell," which I always do. "Octopus's Garden" was totally charming. The 2-year-old dug it & we listened to it several times in a row -- such a detailed recording! Again, great drum fills, super-tasty country leads from George, and so masterfully melodic backing vocals (led by Lennon?) throughout. And Ringo's fine vocal on a sweet song. "I Want You (She's So Heavy)" reminded me again of how much I love the way Lennon could whip himself into a frenzy.

The Side 2 suite charmed as well, in a different way. Not so much for the words or the emotions, but for the -- how to say? -- formalist mastery of it all. The hype excitement of the rhythm guitar & percussion on "Polythene Pam"; the exuberant shout "oh look out!" at the end of that song leading into the silly, charming, "She Came In Through the Bathroom Window" -- it was all quite pleasant and charming and so beautifully put together, like a Faberge egg, until "Golden Slumbers," and the ferocious tenderness of the loving lullabye, McCartney roaring the title phrase after entreating his listener to sleep pretty darling do not cry -- so utterly wrong for a lullabye, so utterly right for capturing the emotional tidal waves of parenthood -- I cried. Which was funny -- I knew that song affected me like that, but in the moment of enjoying the Beatles' record-and-song-making virtuosity-for-its-own-sake, I forgot the emotional punch to come.

For some reason I put on Sheryl Crow's first 2 albums tonight, and man, those records had that Beatles glow. First song, first album, "Run Baby Run," those Beatles guitar arpeggios. Lyrical allusions on the second album: "Love love love" a la "All you need is . . . " on the tune "Love is a good thing." (Reminding me of something someone I knew said once: "In rock, love is a THING.") The last song, "Ordinary Morning," totally Lennonesque, and yup, allusions to Lennon's lyrics from "Revolver" -- "I'm only sleeping, John" (she actually addresses him!) and a nod to "And your bird can sing." Crow had the glow on those first 2 albums. Lots of great stuff, and such a great singer. Electric drums on the first album don't always work for me, but other than that, gorgeous arrangement/recordings too throughout on both.
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