Love

Posted by admin | Posted in Love | Posted on 09-09-2010-05-2008

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Love

Japanese pressing of the standard version of the album. Apple. 2006.It begins with a twittering of birdsong lifted from “Across the Universe.” And once the triple-tracked a capella harmonies of “Because” enter, followed by snatches from “A Hard Day’s Night” and “The End,” leading into a fired-up “Get Back,” it becomes obvious that this is far more than just another Beatles compilation. This is Love, conceived by the Fabs’ former producer George Martin and son Giles as a stageshow soundtrack to Cirque de Soleil’s Las Vegas spectacular of the same name, but appears to have taken on a life of its own. Whereas the Beatles’ last release, 1, delivered the (over?) familiar hits in a nice, simple package, Love is a mélange of the familiar and obscure, all literally mixed together in one 78-minute audio collage which succeeds in reminding the listener just why the Beatles truly are, as Lennon put it, “toppermost of the poppermost.” There’s no new Beatles material per se, but the songs are all

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Review by jazzmusikeditor for Love
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Of all the possible posthumous incarnations for the Beatles, here’s one of the most unlikely – as soundtrack to a Las Vegas circus.

It isn’t any old circus, admittedly, but Canada’s arty, super-acrobatic Cirque du Soleil, whose current Las Vegas show, “Love”, is modelled on the story of the Beatles and characters from their songs: “Eleanor Rigby”, “Sergeant Pepper” et al.

More importantly, “Love-the-show” – the result of George Harrison’s friendship with Cirque founder Guy Laliberte – involved producer George Martin disinterring the group’s master tapes from the Abbey Road vault for he and his son Giles to remix and remodel.

The results blast “Love” audiences from a state-of-the-art surround-sound system that includes speakers in individuual seats.

And the first thing “Love-the-album” does, at least in its DVD surround-sound format, is to blow you away with sheer sonic wizardry. Set to a noisy dawn chorus, complete with fluttering wings, the three-part vocal harmonies of ‘Because’ arrive with the clarity of an ice blue sky. The chugging introduction to ‘Get Back’ hurtles out of the mix like a train. The pumping fairground organs of ‘Mr Kite’ reek of steam and sawdust. Hearing many of the familiar tracks is like viewing an old masterpiece after cleaning: the light is brighter, the shadows deeper. Here, the trebles tingle while the bass end booms.

Some of this is painstaking technical restoration. After the Beatles swapped touring for the studio, they and Martin became experts at squeezing a quart of sound into a pint pot, extending the limits of four- and eight-track recordings by ‘bouncing down’ tracks.

Today’s technology has let the Martins reverse the process, giving instruments and voices more autonomy. Ever notice the pizzicato violins on the middle 8 of ‘Something’? You will now.

The ambitions of “Love” go beyond renovation, however. Its 26 tracks are set in an ambient flow of sound collages distilled from hours of Beatles tapes and containing fragments and echoes of 130 songs in all. Frequently the effect is ghostly, as the stalking strings of ‘Glass Onion’ and a snatch of ‘Nowhere Man’ drift like ectoplasm down a corridor. ‘I Want to Hold Your Hand’ – one of the few numbers from the moptop days – surfaces from a scratchy haze of screaming.

The most ambitious songs emerge most improved. There is not, after all, much to be done with the rock’n'roll retro of ‘Lady Madonna’, whereas ‘Strawberry Fields’ and ‘I am the Walrus’ sound more than ever like avant-garde masterpieces. Harrison’s ‘While My Guitar Gently Weeps’ (the slower version from Anthology 3) is given a sumptuous string setting by Sir George.

Throughout, the McCartney/Starr rhythm section has never sounded so heavy, or the group’s vocal harmonies so sharp and affecting.

“Love” vindicates the Beatles’ status as master musicians and conceptualists. Not only for the spirit of optimism they embodied but artistically, they remain the act to beat. On this evidence, no one else comes close.

My favourite track is ‘Here Comes the Sun/The Inner Light’.

Neil Spencer

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Review by Y. Dharnidharka for Love
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Along with the Amazonian rainforest, there can be few natural resources which have been ransacked like the Beatles back catalogue. Anthologised, lobotomised, and generally pillaged in the pursuit of commercial gain, public demand appeared to have finally exhausted itself with the middling response to 2003′s unfortunately titled “Let It Be… Naked”.

Until now. Prompted by a long-term friendship between George Harrison and Cirque De Soleil’s founder Guy Laliberté, and given the blessing of the Axis Powers (Paul, Ringo and Yoko), Love is the latest addition to that bulging catalogue.

Essentially the soundtrack to the Cirque show launched in Las Vegas last July, “Love” is a jaw-dropping 80- minute mash-up of The Beatles’ more accessible tunes, slavishly compiled by Giles Martin and overseen by father George, all delivered in sumptuous 5.1 surround sound.

Those fearing a train-wreck along the lines of Twin Freaks – The Freelance Hellraiser’s remix assault on the Wings back catalogue – can rest easy.

Starting off with “Because”, it segues into the drum solo from “The End”, hammers into the opening riff from “Hard Day’s Night” and then lurches straight into “Get Back” before you can splutter “Stars On 45″.

From there it’s a musical landslide of Beatleology ( “Eleanor Rigby”, “A Day In The Life”, “Here Comes The Sun” ), all overlaid with snippets from every nook and cranny of their back catalogue.

So we get “Drive My Car/The Word/What You’re Doing” as one continuous ebb’n'flow of mid-period drugginess, “Come Together/Dear Prudence” as an acid-fried soundscape and – best of all – the cosmic drones of “Tomorrow Never Knows” and “Within You Without You” fitted together like a glove.

Wherever a song is allowed to stand alone (“Back In The USSR”, “Revolution”), it arrives with double-tracked vocals, stripped back instrumentation or – why not? – the faint tinge of sitar.

If the scale is almost beyond comprehension, “Love” also represents a sonic Da Vinci Code for Beatles trainspotters, who could spend the rest of their lives arguing over whether the snare sound is derived from “No Reply” or “Paperback Writer”.

Completists will enjoy a newly unearthed demo version of “Strawberry Fields Forever”, but it is the Martins’ obsessive quest for innovation which deserves the garlands.

Paul Moody

http://www.uncut.co.uk

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Review by erictheb for Love
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Ok I guess I have to be the first one to crash this “Love”-fest of gushing reviews. First off, let me say that I am a huge Beatles fan and have the utmost respect for their revolutionary body of , and for what they stood for: peace and love and community– which is in short supply these days! That being said, let’s take a look at the creation of this work. Cirque du Soleil, via the director’s long-time friendship with George Harrison, got the rights from Apple to use Beatles in their production of Love, and more power to them. I have not seen the show but I can imagine it is an incredible aural and visual sensory experience. This is a review of the on the album only, in the context of a home listening experience. And besides the fact that it contains snippets and remixes and interspliced “mash-ups” of Beatles songs, it really is not a “revelation”, “innovation”, “reimagining”, “reinvention”, or as some people are calling it, a new Beatles work. It was created by the Martins for the show. In fact, the Beatles Medley from a few years back [note: not Stars On 45; there was a true Beatles Medley released] was not much different, with LOVE having the added embellishment of some mixing/segueing of different song parts and instrumental/vocal tracks into mash-ups by Sir George Martin and his son Giles. It’s mildly interesting, with excellent sound quality, but honestly, DJs such as Go Home Productions do better Beatles mash-ups, if we are to use that as the criteria here. God bless the Martins, but the Beatles really should have thought outside the box on this one, if in fact it was to go forward at all.

This is not to negate the fact that it surely works incredibly well in its intended milieu- as the soundscape to the stage production. But as a purely listening experience, less so.

Not to mention the fact that I am getting tired of the frankly crass and tacky marketing ploys the Beatles have had lately, Let It Be.. Naked for one. It all started with the Anthology goldmine…

HOW ABOUT REMASTERING THE ORIGINAL ALBUMS, GUYS?? What’s the big wait? Enough of the silly remixed stuff, mmmmmkayyy??

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Review by K. Breeden for Love
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It’s a big yawner. Anybody with a reasonably respectable Beatles MP3 collection and a $40 computer program (Goldwave) could have created this album. There is frankly nothing new or imaginative. Not only that, the remixes detract from the originals. This would likely work well in the context of the show, but fails to stand on its own as an album. All the hype is nothing more than yet another McCartney/Ono Christmas money grab.

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Review by A. J. basch for Love
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i had high hopes for this one. not unrealistic high hopes, but i am VERY DISSAPPOINTED!

I really expected some stellar stuff, songs reinterrpreted and fresh.

George Martin is a genious, but he bombed on this one.

There are apx 20+ songs on here. They are fantastic songs, but they sound completley unchanged. I feel like I just rebought a greatest hits album I already own! The Beatles songs are gourgeous on their own, but the thing that upsets me, is this album was completely FALSELY ADVERTISED.[...]

I originally bought this album after listening to the 4 tracks on the beatles myspace[...]

Those songs were so gourgeously redone and are truly novel gems.

Bad news, is the rest are so minimally altered, you cant even tell the difference.

If you are a purist this is fine, it is like being tricked into rebuying another greatest hits album.[...]

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