Skip to content

Let It Be – The Replacements

The Replacements Let It Be

Let It Be

(1984), 9.5/10
1984’s Let It Be is the point where The Replacements made their great leap forward, augmenting charming but throwaway punk with more serious and emotionally resonant material. Together with the subsequent Tim and Pleased To Meet Me, Let It Be is part of the Replacements mid-80s trinity of great records. It’s divided almost equally between throwaway material like a Kiss cover and ‘Gary’s Got A Boner’ and more serious work. You’d think it would undermine the heartfelt ‘Unsatisfied’ to follow a Kiss cover, but somehow the inclusion of what would normally be filler material balances the album out – a whole album of ‘Answering Machine’ would feel overwrought.

The serious material includes the closing ‘Answering Machine’, which is intense despite not using a rhythm section, and the anguished ‘Unsatisfied’ (“look me in the eye/and tell me, that you’re satisfied”), where Westerberg adds some lap steel. ‘Androgynous’ adds some diversity with a piano led rumination on gender identity confusion, and ‘Sixteen Blue’ takes on adolesence. R.E.M.’s Peter Buck contributes a guitar solo to the opening ‘I Will Dare’. Among the lighter material, the less essential material includes the Kiss cover ‘Black Diamond’, the bratty ‘Seen Your Video’ and the loping ‘We’re Coming Out’, although each of these has a sloppy charm of its own.

It’s not their most consistent record but it would still be perfectly reasonable to argue for Let It Be as the best example of The Replacements oeuvre, as it represents the meeting point of their less serious early work and their more mature later work.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

The Sound Sniffer

Sniffing out the best new music


seeker of wisdom


or, Thoughts in Woods on Snowy Evening

Art by Rob Goldstein

There is no common truth

Up the Down Turn

Musings, Depression and Life Management

Alex Swift Blogging

opinions and analysis on media and entertainment, new and old

Diary of a Bassist

Musical musings of a bassist/power metal enthusiast

%d bloggers like this: