After The Beatles dissolved, it became clear that the four members of The Beatles needed to branch out and do their own thing musically. This especially rang true for John Lennon. who needed to express himself, heart and soul. After the experimental albums with Yoko Ono, he needed to deliver something more consistent and accessible. This is that, so let’s jump in and take a listen to it.
We begin with the eerie bell at the beginning of Mother which is an odd start for an album. John Lennon enters shortly after and sings a song about his own mother, who tragically died when he was very young. A great piano-driven ballad, and it still sounds amazing today. Singing about his family, John sounds really excellent here. It was becoming increasingly apparent towards the end of The Beatles that John Lennon needed to express himself, heart and soul, on record. Gradually building up to screaming at the end of this song, John achieves this on this album. Excellent start to the album.
Following is Hold On which begins with a good electric guitar sound and multitracked vocals with John Lennon singing about holding onto what he has got. A short, yet excellent piece about maintaining one’s identity in the world, it is great to hear. Nice effort.
I Found Out comes next, with its interesting lyrics about taking no prisoners and being independent of things, this is another good song from John Lennon. He rails against pretty much everything here, over the top of a decent tune. This is good music and bitter lyricism from John Lennon. “I have seen through religion, from Jesus to Paul,” is a great lyric here. Decent song.
Working Class Hero is one of the classic John Lennon songs here. It is raw, emotional and uncompromising. John Lennon sings wonderfully over acoustic guitar here and delivers a great musical statement. It’s a song that is a bit of a bitter statement against society in general. It’s much like Revolution in its intent, at least lyrically. Towards the end, it builds up to an excellent climax. Nice song.
Following is Isolation which is a piano-led piece that sounds really deep. It sounds like a quiet, yet lovely piece by John Lennon. It eventually builds up in volume and effect and becomes really different to hear. “After all, you’re just human, victim of the insane!” sings John here. A good and short piece of music.
After that is Remember with its prominent beat and chugging piano. This is a simple and direct song, much like the rest of the album here. A top tune, and very well made by John Lennon. Very simple, but lovable music. The lyrics seem rather partial in their delivery, but the song is great regardless. The climax at the end is pretty direct.
Love comes next and has a very slow and quiet piano-led intro, with John Lennon singing beautifully over the top. Another great song that sounds incredible, this is a decent piece of music. John sings about one of the strongest emotions out there. Nice effort. It cuts out towards the end, bringing only the piano back into the mix shortly after. Great stuff.
Well Well Well comes next and is nearly six minutes long. It begins with a fuzz guitar sound, before launching into a rather raw and uncompromising statement. This is an excellent piece of music, just like the rest of the album. It has multiple sections throughout and tempo changes also throughout. John Lennon does some intense screaming as well here, giving us all he has got. The song then kicks back into the singing section, and it finishes off nicely. Good song, it finishes with an uptempo change. Awesome.
Next is Look At Me, which sounds a lot like a pseudo-White Album piece. Still, it is a great effort and very personal and revealing in its intentions. A lovely acoustic-led piece, with John Lennon singing with his heart on his sleeve. A great song to listen to, and a very wonderful and gentle musical experience. It fades out gently.
Following is God which is a piano-led ballad that has John Lennon singing about the conceptualization of God himself. John Lennon sings about what he doesn’t believe in, and it is a long list. It is a great song nonetheless, although it is essentially John going against things he used to hold dear. The climax at the end is interesting, though. Good song regardless.
My Mummy’s Dead is very last here. It is a very short piece, sounding like it is coming out of a radio unit. A good outro to this album, and definitely different.
This is a surprisingly good listen for an album of this sort. Although a lot of the lyrics are self interested, John Lennon delivers some excellent tunes and some fine musicianship here. This is a great solo album by John Lennon, no question about it. If you liked his work in The Beatles, this should be one of your favourites, too.