Don Heckman

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

That "Sgt. Pepper" is different from [the Beatles'] previous albums should surprise no one. Every edition of their work has revealed change, sometimes intensive, sometimes casual. A large measure of the Beatles' attractiveness is centered around this basic—and probably intuitive—need to extend the limits of their art. Lennon is a natural lyricist in much the way, I would say, that Larry Hart was. Lennon makes banal rhymes and gets away with it. He can rhyme "I was mean" with "I'm changing my scene"; he can match "Nothing to say" with "but what a day" and couple successive phrases like "I get by," "I get high" and "going to try", and make them all work. Why? Because he is a masterful storyteller, even with abstract...

(The entire section is 421 words.)