The Beatles [White Album]
I feel like enough time has passed that we can be honest about whether or not The White Album, as it is colloquially known, successfully functions as a cohesive album. It of course varies from person to person, and personally I’m tempted to take the contrarian’s way out and say “no.” But then again that’s kind of the legacy of its patchwork charm; the most experimental Beatles record by a longshot is as crammed with winners as it is with head-scratchers. “The Continuing Story of Bungalow Bill” and “Rocky Raccoon” stand as two of the greatest Lennon-McCartney tunes ever recorded, and they’re stacked with other classics like “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” and “Blackbird.” And even the misses (in this writer’s opinion you’ve got “Ob-la-di, Ob-la-da”, “Piggies”, and the admirable, ahead-of-its-time, but still dragging “Revolution 9”) contribute necessary peaks and valleys in a double album that continues to give good reasons for its own hubris. It says a lot that even a big, glorious mess by The Beatles is still better than most albums of its generation.