Beatlemaniacs -- heck, pretty much anyone with even a passing fondness for the Fab Four -- have spent more than three decades wondering what it would be like to coax just one more album out of the legendary band. And while that has seemed like a daunting, if not impossible, task -- in large part due to the hand of fate -- it's finally come to pass on this remarkably intriguing disc. Intriguing enough on paper, the spectacular-sounding Love
takes more than two dozen Beatles classics, and snippets of dozens more, and weaves them into a seamless sound collage that maintains the spirit of the original recordings while adding a striking new depth. Longtime Beatles producer George Martin
(and his son Giles
) revisited the original master tapes of these songs at the behest of Cirque du Soleil
founder Guy Laliberte (a close ally of the late George Harrison), who crafted a Las Vegas show around the music. There's little of the surface glitz one might expect from a Sin City product, but plenty of astonishing, fun-house like vistas, created by elements like the newly unconcealed string section in the midst of "Something" to the suddenly emphatic guitar thump that introduces "Get Back." Many of the cuts here are marked by heretofore unimagined muscle -- notably "For the Benefit of Mr. Kite" and (surprisingly enough) "I Want to Hold Your Hand," wherein the harmonies cut more like honed diamonds through glass than like knives through butter. The manner in which the Martins situate the full-length songs in a veritable sea of sound may well be Love
's most fascinating aspect, however. Bits and pieces of songs, sometimes immediately recognizable, sometimes just out of reach, pop up all over the place -- an eerie fragment of "Glass Onion" here, a few bars of "Nowhere Man" there. That elevates Love
far above mere "best of" status and imbues it with the sort of artistic density that demands and rewards repeated listens.