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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

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    Across the Universe

    It was just over 40 years ago when four young British musicians from Liverpool entered the United States causing teenage girls to cry with desire as they swarmed concert stages, planes and press conferences for a peak. The craze or “Beatle mania” quickly made John, Paul, George and Ringo, the Beatles, a teen sensation. Their success carried on through the psychedelic era, simultaneously changing their style of music and ultimately leading to the creation of some of the Beatles most legendary work.

    Naturally, there have been many attempts by other musicians to re-create or cover songs by the Beatles. There have been a few successful covers, such as Fiona Apple’s rendition of “Across the Universe”, but it is difficult to find artists who can truly cover a Beatles song well. Luckily, Jim Sturgess seems like he will be able to put an end to all the misery.

    Sturgess stars as Jude in the newly released movie, “Across the Universe” which tells a love story using lyrics from various Beatles songs. Sturgess’s British accent makes him the perfect fit for the role and gives him the ability to belt out notes in a voice that sounds almost identical to Lennon’s.

    You have to keep an open mind before listening to the double disc album, “Across the Universe” featuring 31 songs from the movie, most of which are all sung by the lead characters. It is the type of album where some songs such as, “All My Loving” and “Girl”, you immediately fall in love with. But, like every CD, there are a few songs that just don’t sit well with you during that first listen.

    Bono makes a guest appearance, with a unique cover of, “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” and “I am the Walrus”. Evan Rachel Wood, who stars as Lucy, also sings a few songs including “Blackbird”, but unfortunately these are the ones that will take a few times of hearing it to appreciate. Her voice is light and raspy, but she adds a girly kick to each song which takes a while to get used to.

    Despite some negative reviews and criticism, it is Sturgess who really pulls the album together. Sturgess has a charming voice which easily captivates you, almost making you forget that it’s not Lennon’s voice streaming through your head phones. Some credit also needs to be given to Joe Cocker, who covered his first Beatles song “I Get by With a Little Help from My Friends” with Jimmy Page in the sixties. Cocker appears on this album singing a folk version of “Come Together”.

    I think it is safe to say that “Across the Universe” is the first album that truly respects the Beatles’ music. The intensity and dramatization of each song creates such a strong visual of the love during the psychedelic era, making you want to listen over and over.

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