Album: Rubber Soul
Artist: The Beatles
1. Drive My Car
2. Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)
3. You Won’t See Me
4. Nowhere Man
5. Think for Yourself
6. The Word
8. What Goes On
10. I’m Looking Through You
11. In My Life
13. If I Needed Someone
14. Run for Your Life
After five albums, The Beatles had slowly been getting away from boy-band pop. Most of their pure rock songs were covers, but they had been showing signs of maturity with their writing, with numbers like And I Love Her, Yesterday, and I’ve Just Seen a Face. Whether it was age, practice, or good drugs, it finally all came together for Rubber Soul.
Drive My Car is pop no doubt, and a song that turned me off a bit at first. But Paul’s energy is so infectious that I now I can’t help but sing “Beep beep beep beep, yeah!” John then follows it up with my favorite Beatles song, Norwegian Wood, a short but powerful tale of sexual frustration and arson. Plus, they bring out the sitar, which is perfect here.
Speaking of frustration, I’m Looking Through You and Run for Your Life are as bitter as you can get. While these songs have been accused of being misogynistic, I’d like to think Paul and John were not monsters and were just exposing and then exaggerating their raw emotions after dealing with difficult personal relationships.
The album isn’t all about anger. In My Life is one of my favorite love songs, simple but endearing. I’m also a fan of Michelle, You Won’t See Me, and Harrison’s Think For Yourself.
Despite four top-tier songs, the album falls a bit for me because the filler is pretty unimpressive. It’s not as mindless as their filler on previous albums, and shows some creativity with their use of various instruments and vocal stylings (e.g. The Word is mostly just one note), but if I never heard Girl, Wait, or What Goes On the rest of my life, that would be just fine.