Artist: The Replacements
Title: “Let it Be”
Format: Digital (Spotify)
There are some records whose reputation precedes them in such a large way that there’s doubt the real thing could ever live up to the hype.
It was easy to feel skepticism about “Let it Be” browsing the titles alone. First, didn’t that little Liverpudlian group have an album with that name? Secondly, some of these titles just don’t seem all that mature: “Tommy Gets His Tonsils Out,” “Gary’s Got a Boner.”
But The Replacements’ “Let it Be” exceeds any preconceived notions. Believe the hype.
It’s known as the moment the Minneapolis group took a left turn away from its punk roots into more garage and jangle rock, as opening track “I Will Dare” shows. A tasty bass line makes the song’s meat while former R.E.M. guitarist Peter Buck makes a guest appearance.
The emotional range is all over the place, from immature to embracing adulthood. If Paul Westerberg sounds like a boy on “Gary’s Got a Boner,” he sounds like a full-grown man with his voice shredding as he repeats “I’m so / I’m so / Unsatisfied.”
It all hangs together because it’s honest, the moment when Westerberg and The ‘Mats transcended into adulthood as musicians and people.
Our Music Year is Daily Republic popular culture writer Nick DeCicco’s yearlong online review in 2012 of albums he had previously not listened to. The reviews will appear in print on their corresponding days during 2013. Reach him at 427-6966 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ndeciccodr.