Jasper was a good friend with a beautiful heart and a satisfying cock. He loved indie rock and having objectively terrible taste in literally everything. I was lucky to have climbed into his sweaty sexual belly one last time before he lost his life to the swine flu in his UCLA dormitory. He wanted to write this review for SLRJ a month ago and I laughed in his face. He's dead now, though.
The Beatles - Rubber Soul
Rubber Soul kinda sucks. Every song is pretty fucking stupid and if someone had never heard The Beatles before and you put this album on for them and told them it was by the best band of all time they would punch you in the face. But you should probably punch them back and tell them how rude that was because this is one of the all time greats and you can't just piss on the classics like that!
Of my top 50 Beatles songs, I think two of them are on Rubber Soul: “Drive My Car”, with it's McCartney tongue-in-cheek wit, that fluid brain-melting bass, and Ringo holding it all together with that light, perfect rat-tat-tat. The other, “In My Life”, is a real TJ Tearjerker and one of the few times that John Lennon seems sincere when he's getting sentimental. A real winner!
So why do I consider it the greatest record by the greatest band? Because no matter how long I look, I cannot find a flaw in it. Not in songwriting, not in the production, not in the tone, not in the lyrics, not even on the cover. That was the Beatlecut at it's prime. Very little I wouldn't do for a McCartney circa 1965.
Even band knew they had perfected music at this point. Every album that precedes Rubber Soul is taking another step forward as the Fab Four honed their craft, diversified their arsenal, and pushed the limits of the music industry at the time. But with Revolver they started walking sideways. Instead of writing “songs”, they started writing “psychedelic songs”. On Sgt. Pepper's, they did a “concept album”. Magical Mystery Tour had a fucking movie. But this was the apex of rock music. These dudes were cutting and pasting tape together and they made the harmonies on “Nowhere Man” sound like they're timed by supercomputers. “You Won't See Me” is a soaring, slashing, semi-anthem that's begging for my love, but too reserved to deserve it. “MICHELLE”, MA BELLE. Every sound falls exactly into place. The band is a tight, sloppy, wet, thirsty cunt. George is beating out these wanky solos he wrote in 30 seconds all over this masterpiece. Short and sweet, ready to repeat, 35:39 (fuck the U.S. version).
There's very few overwhelming moments on the album, where you're just overtaken with this powerful musical bliss that you can't shake off. It's very restrained and difficult to get emotional about. It feels antithetical to everything that a sensitive, 21st century college-going man w/feelings should be looking for in his musical entertainment. The excitement isn't jaw-dropping, but rather jaw-clenching in it's uptight, nervous perfection. Rubber Soul is so few things but so many millions of things that it's not. It's not cheesy, it's not silly, it's not serious, it's not purposeful, but most of all it's not flawed. I recommend it to both my family and friends.
- Jasper Hitchen, 06/02/09