I was thoroughly prepared to bash this album.

So, Sir Paul McCartney, who the heck do you think you are? I’m terribly sorry that you’re unhappy with the original album. Deal with it. You gave the subpar songs to producer (and alleged girlfriend-murderer) Phil Spector in the first place because your band stopped caring. Your fans forgave you with Abbey Road. There is no need to cop out by waiting for the “artsy” Beatles to die, only to strip Spector’s work from the project that he was put on to fix. I smell scam.

And then I listened to the CD. And now I will attempt to remove my foot from my mouth.

Let It Be…Naked voyeuristically permits the listener to hear past the studio excesses that characterize the later Beatles albums. Take away Spector’s cheese-drenched string and horn arrangements and hear how “The Long and Winding Road” should sound: personal, bittersweet and beautiful. The same goes for “Across the Universe.” Subtract the echo-laden vocal and guitar effects, and the song migrates from dreamy psychedelic pop to a practically solo John Lennon at his tragic best.

Technology has brought the listener closer than ever before to hearing the Beatles’ musicianship: every Lennon-McCartney harmony, Ringo drum fill, and George guitar lead, held together without the hiss of analog tape. As a result, 1969 charm is sacrificed for the greater good of hearing a timeless band play timeless music.

You win, Paul. Don’t make this a habit. The other albums are brilliant already. Just let them be.

[Joey Siara gets strange hang-up calls late at night. How rude.]