Let It Be Naked (Apple / Capitol)
Reviewed by Matt Dentler, Fri., Dec. 19, 2003
The BeatlesLet It Be ... Naked (Apple/Capitol) With half of the all-time greatest pop band now deceased and producer Phil Spector looking down the barrel of a prison sentence, the time must've seemed ripe to remix the Beatles' infamous scrap heap Let It Be. The retooled album, crafted by Abbey Road engineers and retitled Let It Be ... Naked, features alternate takes and a total lack of Spector's arrangements and between-song studio chatter. The end result isn't revolutionary enough to warrant a repurchase, and only the biggest Beatlemaniac will notice much difference. Plus, there were really only two songs ("Across the Universe" and "The Long and Winding Road") that fully utilized Spectorization on the original album. Now, these two classics sound entirely different. Like colorization, this new state feels a bit ersatz. Thanks to resequencing, "Get Back" now opens the album, which gets things off to a more upbeat start than the original, and concludes with the one-two punch of "Across the Universe" and "Let It Be," a better way to lull the listener to a satisfactory conclusion. The satisfaction only comes in these minor changes -- and a slightly sped up "Two of Us" -- instead of major ones, and the rest of the project sounds like an attempt to squeeze whatever remaining reissue sales they could out of the vaults. The original Let It Be may not have satisfied Paul McCartney, but it satisfied fans just fine.