Friday, March 18, 2011

Slow Down

Richard Furnstein: Finally, we've arrived at the best Beatles song! Granted, "Slow Down" just a Larry Williams played with ape-like focus. But, listen closely and you'll hear the most perfect rock song. Lennon rips his throat out and mails it to his "little woman," throwing in a beginner's guide to rock and roll asides (the shorthand: "OWWWW!!!," "AHHHHHHHHH!!!!," and "PFFFFFFTTTLTTTTT!"). I realize that reads like Don Martin prose. You just have to trust me that it sounds amazing.

Robert Bunter: Yeah! This is the perfect song for the summertime. Roll the window down and let the air in. Crank up the cassette deck ... it's time to rock with rockin' Johnny and the Beatles. Slow Down is as deep and funky as anything Robert Johnson or James Brown ever cut, it's just coming from a different angle.

Richard Furnstein: The whole enterprise teeters on the edge of climax. Ringo takes that cymbal to the senior dance and brings it home a woman. George slides and pops in the right way, spurting stray notes all over during the solo. Paul sits in the pocket like a superchampion. George Martin drives the whole enterprise on the piano, playing with the fervor of a younger man. As for John. Well, this is all you need to play the aliens from outer space when they are wondering why John Lennon which human had the greatest voice in Earth history. Good Lord, he can't even help one final woop as the song fades out.
Robert Bunter: Your assessment is correct, as usual. The Beatles play like masters. They're in completely assured control, but it doesn't ever lack excitement or seem sterile. Picture Albert Einstein, gently gliding down a winding country road on a well-tuned bicycle, gently exclaiming "Wah-HOO!" as he rounds the corner. Now you're getting the idea.

Richard Furnstein: Wait, what the hell happens at 1:13 in this song? Sounds like a gaffe with vocal double tracking. They didn't bother fixing it because you can't mess with a perfect recording. You can't make a strawberry sweeter or more red. You just smile and let the sweet berry goodness cover your face. When's the last time you said "Wahoo"?

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