In about 2002, the bootleg mash-up was big news. A hopelessly named phenomenon that involved producers illegally mixing two unlikely old records together to make a third, the mash-up made celebrities of some strange figures - Brian "Danger Mouse" Burton and secretive producer Richard X among them - but the Beatles may have been the sub-genre's true stars. They were involved both in its artistic zenith - the Grey Album, on which Danger Mouse pitted Jay-Z's rapping against music from the White Album - and the moment when mash-ups meandered into pointlessness: Go Home Productions' Paperback Believer, which used two fantastic records, Paperback Writer and the Monkees' Daydream Believer, to make a noticeably less brilliant third.
Here, the arrangements have everything pushed up toward the front, creating a Wall of Sound upon which certain individual parts or samples can stand out in how they contrast to the rest. This means that LOVE can indeed sound good -- particularly in a 5.1 surround mix as elements swirl between the front and back speakers, but these are all window-dressing on songs that retain all their identifiable elements from the original recordings. And that's the frustrating thing about this entire project: far from being a bold reinvention, a Beatles album for the 21st century, the Martins didn't go far enough in their mash-ups, creating new music out of old, turning it into something mind-blowing.