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Album Review: Here Comes the Sun
David Lanz
Cover image of the album Here Comes the Sun by David Lanz
Here Comes the Sun
David Lanz
2011 / Moon Boy Music
45 minutes
Review by Kathy Parsons
Here Comes the Sun is the sequel to David Lanz’s 2010 tribute to The Beatles, Liverpool: Re-Imagining the Beatles. Where Liverpool featured only music by Lennon and McCartney, Here Comes the Sun includes some of the songs composed by George Harrison as well. Lanz is again accompanied by Gary Stroutsos on flute, Walter Gray on cello, and Keith Lowe on bass, but this time the style is more classical - chamber rock, if you will! Many of the Liverpool tracks were medleys of songs, but that isn’t true of Here Comes the Sun, which begins and ends with Lanz originals. The eight arrangements come from music spanning from The Beatles’ British debut album through their more “mature” and experimental recordings of the late ’60’s. Lanz has always named The Beatles as having a huge influence on his own music, and both of these albums serve as his very personal tribute. After working on this music for four years, the closing “Sir George (Liverpool Farewell)” track signals a major project completed (and done to perfection). Hard core rockers may be put off by the classical nature of Lanz’s arrangements, but I love how he slowed down some of the faster tunes (“Help!” for one) and brought out the beauty of the melodies. This is not elevator music or easy-listening fluff, but artistic interpretations of some of what will undoubtedly stand as classical music of the later-20th century.

Here Comes the Sun begins with a short solo piano prelude that sets the mood for the album. The title track comes next. A bit slower than you usually hear it, the melody is passed around between the piano, cello, and flute, building energy as it evolves. Always an ode to joyful optimism, I love this arrangement! “Help!” is much more poignant than I’ve ever heard it, with the lyrics (in my head) matching the style of the piece much better than when it’s played at a more upbeat tempo. “For No One” is also melancholy and very moving. No one is the star of this piece, with piano, flute, and cello all merging together beautifully. “Please Please Me” was originally much faster with a strong rhythm, but this arrangement is slow, flowing, and conveys an intimate conversation rather than a demand or reprimand. “Penny Lane” is just piano and bass, and it’s my favorite track. It begins slowly with an improvised intro and then breaks into the more playful melody. Somewhat more jazz-tinged than the other tracks, the mood is loose and free. “I Am the Walrus” is quite a tour de force. I know Lanz has been working on this one for a long time, and the results are amazing. Dark, mysterious, and intense, you need to hear this one for yourself! “Sir George,” the closing track, is a tribute to Sir George Martin, the producer and arranger who was sometimes referred to as “the fifth Beatle.” Martin produced all but one of The Beatles’ original albums, leaving an indelible mark on music history. A stirring closing to a great album!

Here Comes the Sun is from davidlanz.com, Amazon, CD Baby and iTunes. Check it out!
October 10, 2011
More reviews of David Lanz albums
Cover image of the album Sacred Road Revisited by David Lanz
Review by Kathy Parsons
Cover image of the album Ave Maria (single) by David Lanz
with Kristin Amarie
ClassicalSingle Release