A Year with the Beatles: Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band

Beatles_Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club BandWell, it’s way past time for me to talk about the Beatles’ eighth U.K. studio album, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. I’ve been losing enthusiasm for my Beatles project of late, mostly because Real Life has been taking up the lion’s share of my time. Sgt. Pepper is usually regarded as the Beatles’ most experimental/weirdest/trippiest album, and I have to say, it wasn’t one of my favorites. Here are my thoughts on the individual songs:

“Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” — This song is actually pretty boring, musically speaking; it’s really just a standard blues harmony. But I like how the song sets up the rest of the album as a “live” show.

“With a Little Help from My Friends” — Whenever I hear this song, all I can think about is “The Wonder Years.” Apart from that, it really doesn’t do anything for me.

“Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” — The  chorus of this song doesn’t really seem to match the verses; the song goes from a creepy little waltz to a rock chorus. Which is an interesting idea, but I don’t particularly like the way it came out.

“Getting Better” — I like this song, probably because it’s not trying to be too clever. It’s a straight-up rock song with a catchy chorus and a fun driving pulse.

“Fixing a Hole” — Liked this one as well, particularly the cool little sound effects on the guitar.

“She’s Leaving Home” — I like the way the song alternates from the parents’ point of view to the daughter’s. It’s a nice twist on the “my parents don’t understand me” idea. It’s also a very sad song.

“Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite!” — I like the trippy-circus-carnival feel of this song. Also, is it just me, or is there something a bit menacing about it? Like, “we’re inviting you to this show, but if you don’t come, we’ll kill you.” Definitely something sinister going on…

“Within You Without You” — Oh goody, more sitar! Aren’t the Beatles sick of it yet? I thought this song was dull, dull, dull.

“When I’m Sixty-Four” — This song has a charming old-timey feel to it, like maybe Glenn Miller recorded it first. I love the clarinets! And the lyrics are charmingly romantic.

“Lovely Rita” — Meh, this song didn’t make much of an impression on me. It did sound very similar to the chorus of “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” to me, though.

“Good Morning Good Morning” — Not a huge fan of this song, but I would definitely like it to play loudly every morning in lieu of my alarm clock!

“Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise)” — Nothing new to say about this one…but it does continue the “live show” feeling of the album, which is cool.

“A Day in the Life” — Meh. Boring.

Yes, I’m obviously a little burned out on the Beatles reviews! I do have The Beatles (the white album) on deck, so hopefully I’ll post a review for that one soon. But honestly, I haven’t started listening to it yet, and it’s LONG. So we’ll see.

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