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).
It’s number 3 and the album I consider to be when the band truly found their stride and their own voice. Check out my original review here.
Sales: 5 (Another smash hit)
Chart: 5 (Another smash hit)
Critical: 5 (The first truly great Beatles album, loved by all)
Originality: 4 (The signs of originality in playing, recording, and writing make sudden, small leaps on this record. There are no covers, giving the band the chance to show off their own abilities in full flight, though they are still finding their direction. Here they move away from the blues laden tracks on the first two albums, and make a selection of pop hits instead but give new twists and flavours on the sounds and content of such songs).
Influence: 5 (Like most of the Beatles albums, this is a huge influence on everything that came after, but this was the first album which showed that a band could do everything themselves without relying on exterior input. The variety of styles, the look and feel, the sound, the lyrics, everything here has influenced countless works since).
Musical Ability: 5 (Not only do the band solidify their playing, but they expand with new ideas, instruments, and they cement their ability to play as a group).
Lyrics: 4 (Although most of the songs still are based on love and romance, there are the odd moments and perspectives which eschew conventions and show that the writing was greatly improving).
Melody: 5 (There is a huge leap here from the first couple of albums, possibly by moving towards a more pop oriented sound, and by having free rein to write whatever they wanted. The harmonies shine through meaning that depending on whose voice you choose to listen to, each song can be heard in completely different ways).
Emotion: 4 (The band step up the emotional content bravely here by baring themselves like few groups had before, not only showing their cynicism but their unabashed love).
Resilience: 5 (Again, 50 years later it still sounds better than much of what is around today, more vital, more important, and will still be discussed in another 50).
Vocals: 4 (Each member excels again, while there are a few moments which drag my score down from maximum such as John’s eunuch moment).
Coherence: 4 (The band’s first fully original album holds together wonderfully, nothing sounds out-of-place, and the overall sense of a romantic chase and the ups and downs within is potent).
Mood: 4 (The record makes you want to dance, to sing along, to write, to pick up an instrument and play along).
Production: 5 (This is the first Beatles album which sounds like a unique Beatles album – no other band could have made these songs in this way. Everything is just right).
Effort: 5 (A lot of effort went into this, especially considering the film was being done around the same time, as well as continual writing and touring, and the mix of breathless endeavor and weariness is apparent).
Relationship: 4 (Fits nicely with the previous albums, stands on its own, and blends seamlessly into the next).
Genre Relation: 4 (It’s pop, it’s rock, it sounds like many of the bands of the time, but more importantly it sounds like it is improving upon, and almost making a mockery of those other bands).
Authenticity: 5 (It’s the sound of a band coming into their own, throwing off the shackles of convention, embracing expectation and confidently acknowledging that they will surpass all expectation. Some may go 4 here, I couldn’t accept anything lower).
Personal: 5 (Not my favourite Beatles album, but it can’t be anything less than a 5).
Miscellaneous: 5 (Great stories from the recording, an oft-imitated cover, a film which should have won several Oscars, a classic).
I mean… I’m surprised by that score. It’s by no means my favourite Beatles album but that score is almost perfect and you wonder how anything could get any better. If someone asked me to give a score out of 5, I’d say 5, out of 10 I’d probably say 10, out of 100 I suppose 90 or late 80s would have been my answer. So far my scores are on track with my personal feelings, so that either means I’m a genius or the system is balls. Or somewhere in between, who the hell knows. At the very least, this mirrors the general critical consensus, but that’s not saying much either. No matter which way you slice it, this is one of the best albums of all time and the score reflects that.
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