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Another Spin
A blog by Scott E. Shepherd · A continuing look at popular music, past, present and future.
Monday, February 19, 2007

Who Needs “Love?”
George Martin tries to repackage the Beatles, again

Filed under: Album Reviews, Recent Releases

It has been a debate over many years, who needed who more; George Martin or the Beatles? Certainly Martin benefited from having the world's most famous band as his client, yet the one and only time the Beatles asked someone else to produce their album, they ended with the less-than-stellar Let It Be.
Outside of the Beatles, Martin's work is relatively unknown, so it's not surprising that he is often tempted to tinker with his most popular clients' songs. With a little help from his son, Martin now offers us Love, promising us "the Beatles as you never heard them." Well, yes and no.
I admit that I have not heard the entire CD, so perhaps my assessment is a little unfair, but I really didn't want to shell out another $15.00 for a bunch of songs I already had. What makes it even harder to review is there are no sound samples at Amazon.com or Barnes & Noble (bn.com), and let's not even talk about iTunes. The way I ended up hearing Love was going to a Borders bookstore and listening to samples once I scanned the CD. Some may argue this is not best way to review a CD, but what I heard on those samples was enough for me.
All you need to know about Love, is its origins; Cirque du Soleil founder Guy Laliberte originally approached George Harrison about possibly producing a show around the Beatles' music. Harrison gave his approval before he died, and that is where Love came from. Basically, Martin does "mash-ups," taking snippets of various Beatles' songs and adding them to others, with a few new sound effects. For example, the CD opens with the sounds of morning birds chirping and then the a capella voices of "Because." Another sample tosses in the meaty guitar hooks of "The End" into the beginning of "Get Back."
The real problem with Love is, I have heard the Beatles like this, on the infamous "Grey Album." Granted DJ Dangermouse mixed the Beatles with rapper Jay-Z, but the idea of sampling the Beatles' music and reworking it into a new sound has already been done.
Finally, Love sounds exactly like what it is, a soundtrack to a show created with sampling and re-editing a bunch of Beatles' songs. If you could see Cirque du Soleil or heck, even the Blue Man Group doing their routine to this music, then I guess it be a lot of fun. But as it stands alone, Love isn't really what most Beatles fans need.

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