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).
Beatlemania was at a peak and the band simply couldn’t cope with the constant touring, writing, and recording. Hence this album which saw a return to the inclusion of multiple covers. The fame was beginning to impact the band’s writing and we see the first true examples of breaking out from the cutesy love-based pop hits upon which they made their name.
Sales: 5 (Another smash hit)
Chart: 5 (Another smash hit)
Critical: 4 (Seen as a step back towards the first two albums with the unfortunate inclusion of the covers, some strong, some weak, but this was largely done to meet the demand of pumping out album after album. The more mature writing style of the originals though is singled out for praise. 4-5 are acceptable, 3 would seem cruel).
Originality: 4 (Those covers hold the album’s originality back, but the original songs are strong enough to more than counter this. The sound hasn’t necessarily evolved but the newer influences on the band have been merged into a new style of pop song. Once again, 4-5 seems right).
Influence: 4 (One of the least influential albums thanks to those covers, but again the original songs have spawned a host of imitators. I’m tempted to go with a 3, but 4 feels more accurate).
Musical Ability: 4 (Similar to the previous albums, with less progression, but still high amounts of skill. 3-5 would be understandable).
Lyrics: 4 (Those darker songs have some great lyrics, finally showing that Lennon in particular was branching out, while the remaining Beatlemania tracks have enough fresh perspectives to keep them from becoming derivative. 3-4 sounds okay).
Melody: 4 (Luckily even the weaker covers have decent melodies and the original tracks are still highly effective. I’m happy with people going 5, but 4 suits me).
Emotion: 4 (There is a darker tone throughout, though a fair amount of this is diluted by the covers. The covers have their moments, but some are too plain and I think hold this back from being a 5).
Resilience: 5 (Once again we’re still discussing it 50 years later, and actively listening to it on technology that didn’t even exist at the time of release. This has less popular songs and a smaller chance of people listening to the whole thing, but given the sheer amount of time which has passed, it has to be a 5).
Vocals: 4 (Some of the strain and tiredness is beginning to show and have a negative impact, but the harmonies remain strong, giving a freshness to the covers, and there are enough moments of brilliance to keep the score well above average).
Coherence: 4 (This is a strange one, because some of the songs hold together brilliantly in mood, tone, sound, style, yet they are interrupted by tracks which feel brash. 3-4 seem reasonable).
Mood: 4 (Similar to above, the mood is mostly dark, but then there are infrequent outbursts which take the focus away).
Production: 4 (Nothing out of the ordinary but still high quality stuff).
Effort: 3 (The covers drive this category down, though I appreciate the fact that there was so much going on at the time. I don’t think you can go higher than 4).
Relationship: 3 (It’s difficult to find a relationship between the covers as some are rockers, some are more left field, and they don’t fit well with the rest of the album. The originals mostly relate well to everything which the band has done to this point, as well as showing the progression in content which would be more prevalent in later releases).
Genre Relation: 4 (The covers ironically help here, as many other bands were doing the same thing and the range of styles blend well with the masters of each genre).
Authenticity: 4 (The originals and the overall tone, even including the covers, lend an authenticity – even though there are 6 covers the band are aware of this, hence the album title which makes an ironic joke of the necessity of their inclusion).
Personal: 4 (Obviously a lesser album than A Hard Day’s Night due to the rushing, scheduling, covers etc, but still an album most would be proud of).
Miscellaneous: 3 (A sombre album cover, a difficult recording process overcome, not much else to mention).
Another high scoring album from the band though a step back in most regards from the previous album, with the overall score reflecting as much. Let us know in the comments how you rate the album!