Friday, February 24, 2012

20 Essential Albums: Rubber Soul

Rubber Soul - The Beatles

I can only assume that The Beatles’ Rubber Soul must have been played a lot when I was a child.  Hearing it sometimes I can imagine playing on what seemed then like a wide expanse of carpet.  And still, the album became important to me across many eras of my adult life.

Rubber Soul is socked full of singles, songs we know well from a variety of settings. Together, though, they form an album that is at times earnest and joking at other times. No one should believe that they could sing “Beep beep, beep beep, yeah” without a tongue in their cheeks.  Often it is the backing vocals that reveal the sarcasm in the pop songs.  The songs are so well crafted and yet they seemed to sing of a life that was still to come, at least hearing the songs as a youth.  Hearing lines like “Carve your number on my wall / and maybe you will get a call from me / if I needed someone” conjured an adulthood of entanglements and emotions that could only be imagined.  Even as an adult, it is as if The Beatles have packaged a variety of elements from your life into a perfect pop song, with the backup vocals going “Aaaahhh, ah, la la, la lala.”

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