John Lennon - John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band
Well this isn't exactly easy listening after subjecting myself to a couple dozen Paul McCartney albums this month. To be honest, I'm not sure what music to listen to after going through all that. I listened to some Jesus & Mary Chain and got about halfway through the new Neil Young before wanting to go do something else(seemed pretty good, just wasn't in the mood.)
My ears are really itchy right now. So this was probably what fans wanted to hear from John after the demise of everyone's favorite pop band. Paul was off recording these cute, weird, but brilliant pop albums like McCartney and Ram while John, predictably, was doing the exact opposite. You know you've released your big artistic statement to the world when the only song that even has something resembling a pop hook is talking about how terrible institutions are or screaming about your worthless and/or dead parents. I'm in kind of a shitty mood right now, so I figured the sparse epic bullshit of a fucking John Lennon album would sort of fit my mood right now.
Well, it sure did! Talk about some fucking minimal songwriting, can you believe Phil Spector produced this shit? It sure sounds professional and everything but all we hear on this album is a little bit of piano, scratchy electric guitars and some noodly bass performed by some old fuck. I'm aware John Lennon is a genius and everything, but he doesn't even sound like a musician on here, just some poet who scammed a bunch of assholes to play some scratchy instruments with him after a coke binge in the middle of the woods. Talk about depressing.
John was always the one who liked to be self referential and crack wise about Beatles lore while he was with that particular group, and he's completely uninhibited on here about it. Near the end of the last "real" song, "God" he's all like "I don't believe in Beatles!" and "I only believe in me, Yoko and me." A huge artistic statement, letting the publics collective hearts sink as he dashes any hope for a reunion in just a few words. Astonishing and powerful stuff. Paul might've been the control freak and everything on those last albums, but lyrics like these, it's pretty obvious who everyone was still looking up to for the final word on anything Beatley.
This is actually a pretty great album, but god, who would possibly think throwing this on at 1 in the morning sounds like a good time?
Rating: Brilliant art, not so much great music or anything, something any fan of The Beatles should definitely hear at least once, or if you just get your kicks by hearing a dude pour his heart and soul into something for forty minutes.
Download: The album!