Yes, the opener here—“How Can You Mend a Broken Heart”—gave The Bee Gees their first No. 1 single in the U.S. But within the other baroque pop ballads, sweeping soundscapes, and solemn, dead-of-winter lyrics, there’s a lot of ancient war imagery (its title references a Napoleon battle). It was recorded during the Vietnam era, too. But this is more about battles with the self: a familiar Gibb brothers theme in their pre-disco days of dreamy psych-pop. In fact, Barry Gibb’s beautiful, Lennonesque “I Don’t Wanna Live Inside Myself” drags war metaphors home to a quiet stroll in the local graveyard. Elsewhere, the honeyed harmonies, mounting orchestrations, and acoustic guitars of “Remembering” make it one of the saddest, most morose breakup songs (“But now I feel as good as if I were dead”), while “Dearest” might be the saddest song ever about a lover's death. Both “Israel” and “Lion in Winter” host a musical dynamic range that’s rarely seen in pop; the tunes effortlessly sway between super lows and highs, gloom and joy. The whole album’s a beautiful downer like that.

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