Remember the Nightman Scoring System ©? My system for reviewing music as fairly as possible, an attempt to remove as much inherent bias as possible? That system where I break up an album into twenty evenly weighted categories so that when you score each one out of five, trying to base the score as much on fact as on opinion, you get a fair total out of 100? It’s the best scoring system in the world and you should use it. So should I in fact, hence this post. Anyway, if you want to read the rules about the system click this link and it will reveal all. There’s one for movies too, at this link. Check them both out – I say with absolutely no hyperbole that it will unquestionably change your life, make you an astonishingly brilliant human being, and also get you the ladies (regardless of your gender or orientation).
Sales: 5 (Another smash hit)
Chart: 5 (Another smash hit)
Critical: 5 (Another smash hit)
Originality: 5 (The band’s first truly original album finds them sowing the seeds for future releases but also letting their creativity surge to new levels and places. From the opening moments of Drive My Car you know that the band has undergone some sort of change and entered a brand new phase).
Influence: 5 (The band may have been seen by some as simple pop/rock masters, but this album found a new legion of fans who craved more distant and complex sounds and opened the doors for psychedelia and a host of new artists. Other artists were and had been experimenting in similar ways, but The Beatles allowed it to be honed and brought to the masses. Surely can’t go lower than 4).
Musical Ability: 5 (Here the band shine, showing a full command of whatever they try. The songs remain succinct but the array of instruments employed is wider than before and the band take each addition in their stride, including each in a coherent and valuable way. Purists looking for more technical skill may go lower, but screw those guys, anything under 3 is lies).
Lyrics: 4 (The band still linger with love songs but break free of most of the cliches which plague that type, whilst simultaneously writing about individuality and politics. There is an individuality to the lyrics as the band hone their personas and while influenced by Dylan (and by drugs) they remain much more unique than anything they had written till this point).
Melody: 4 (The experimentation leads to a drop in the quality of melody in some tracks, but a drop would almost be expected after the perfection of Help! Naturally there are still many flawless moments. Melody can be a personal thing, but 3 – 5 seem like the norm).
Emotion: 4 (The range of emotions is greater than ever before, with anger and confusion coming to more prominence, and plenty of moments of sheer joy and sadness).
Resilience: 5 (Similar to the drop from Help!, the fact that the album contains less ‘hits’ means many people will remember this album or play it less. Having said that, it feels more like a complete album rather than a collection of hits. Either way, enough tracks are still being listened to and discussed half a century later. Depending on your take it’s a 4 or 5).
Vocals: 5 (There is a much stronger quality to the vocals here than before, filled with confidence and individual style).
Coherence: 4 (Some say the US release is better, but the album as a whole fits together nicely with things elements such as the tambourine featuring in many songs and the theme of experimentation seeps into the music and lyrics).
Mood: 4 (Aside from the obvious sadness and joy mentioned above, I think the overall mood is one of exploration and creativity which can be found subtly in every song)
Production: 5 (Great work, still sounds stunning)
Effort: 4 (Impressive writing and creativity to make something new)
Relationship: 4 (It’s easy to relate to some songs here, from the tortured romantic to the non-conformist. Some songs have their influences in prior works but each has an effective twist)
Genre Relation: 4 (There wasn’t really anything like this before in the charts and while it is the beginning of their experimentation it doesn’t relate as well as their later, fully fledged works)
Authenticity: 5 (The band sound entirely dedicated to branching out and making something new)
Personal: 4 (As already mentioned, the experimentation leads to some weaker songs which miss out on having any truly great hooks)
Miscellaneous: 4 (Free from touring and filming now the band could concentrate fully on making music so not much to say here)
Take The Nightman Scoring System(c) Challenge and let me know how you score the album!