Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

The Beatles: Let It Be [Apple, 1970]
"I hope we passed the audition," says the leader as the record ends, and they do. Their assurance and wit would be the envy of veteran rock and rollers, and though this is a little lightweight, it makes up in charm what it lacks in dramatic brilliance. Even when the arrangements get tricky--"Let It Be" is a touch too ornate in this version--their spontaneity of impulse comes through. And while fave rave "One After 909" is pure teen simplicity, it sounds no fresher than "Two of Us," an adult song about couple bonding that I hope applies to their songwriting duo. The one mistake is "The Long and Winding Road," sunk in a slush of strings worthy of its shapeless philosophizing. But even the great are allowed to falter now and then. A-