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Where to start with The White Album? Even ignoring its historical significance, the sheer quantity of music it contains makes writing about it an unwieldy task. Consisting of 30 tracks clocking in at over 93 minutes altogether, The White Album is The Beatles’ longest by a significant margin. The word ‘sprawling’ might as well have been invented to describe this record. Inevitably, this makes it difficult to organise into a coherent review. In my Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band review, I’ve already branded The White Album their “overrated vanity project”. This was somewhat hyperbolic, but I still stand by the claim that The White Album is more of a mixed bag than many would admit. So, I think the best way to organise this review is to simply look at the songs in terms of quality.
Pop music, in recent years, has become slightly disillusioned to the masses. A whole article could be taken up explaining how streaming and other technological advances have led to the increase of talentless artists creeping into the charts and the consciousness of the masses. While this may hold some truth, it’s an extremely cynical world view. In many ways, Pop music is better now than it ever has been. It’s become such a broad term that myriad artists and genres fall into its scope. Naysayers may argue that truly original and worthwhile Pop music is dead. 2015’s Emotion is an album that refutes this claim.
In the pantheon of rock icons, there remains no one as singular or influential as Brian Eno. His career is one that would have been chronicled on terracotta pots a couple of centuries ago. It serves my purpose just to mention a couple of the artists he’s improved due to either his presence or production: Roxy Music, David Bowie, Talking Heads, David Byrne, Nico, U2, Laurie Anderson, Genesis, Paul Simon and many more. His run of four rock albums from 1974-77, is an unrivalled one in regards to innovation. But after this run came his greatest left-turn yet: Ambient.
“Hipster” is defined as a person who follows the latest trends that are usually out of the cultural mainstream. More recently, the term has become more and more ironic- as if those who identify as a Hipster are doing it in a hipster way. Granted, it’s a difficult logic to follow. The very act of being a hipster is even more hipster than ever. In 1999, the term had been around for a while, the earliest I know of it in music is on Orange Juice’s 1982 song Untitled Melody.
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