After the harrowing Plastic Ono Band, John Lennon returned to calmer, more conventional territory with Imagine. While the album had a softer surface, it was only marginally less confessional than its predecessor. Underneath the sweet strings of "Jealous Guy" lies a broken and scared man, the jaunty "Crippled Inside" is a mocking assault at an acquaintance, and "Imagine" is a paean for peace in a world with no gods, possessions, or classes, where everyone is equal. And Lennon doesn't shy away from the hard rockers -- "How Do You Sleep" is a scathing attack on Paul McCartney, "I Don't Want to Be a Soldier" is a hypnotic antiwar song, and "Give Me Some Truth" is bitter hard rock. If Imagine doesn't have the thematic sweep of Plastic Ono Band, it is nevertheless a remarkable collection of songs that Lennon would never be able to better again. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
NME - Ranked #34 in NME's list of The Greatest Albums Of The '70s.
Q - Included in Q's "The Best Male Angst Albums Of All Time"
Mojo - "...Contains both the best and worst of the man - the idealist and the ranter, the righteous and the vindictive anger....So you take your choice between the pantheistic songs or the pissed-off plodders..."
Q - 4 stars out of 5 - "...a strange, contrary record with touches of genius....extraordinarily beautiful....it is a signpost to one of the 20th Century's major figures....proof that genius is a series of fleeting moments..."
Rolling Stone - "...On the evidence of IMAGINE, I don't think that John has resolved the manner in which a masterpiece and an artistic dead-end like POB can succesfully be followed....But then, great artists, of whom John is one, are nothing if not resourceful..."
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