The taste-making, young Turk website Pitchfork published a review of the new Lennon releases today, offering up what I consider an appropriate mix of veneration and criticism. As Douglas Wolk writes, John's "solo career is still a knotty, vexing mess." It's fitting for a man who himself was knotty, vexing, and so much more.
The current round of reissues and repackages includes the third and fourth posthumous boxed sets of his work, and the fifth-or-so stab at a greatest-hits compilation; they're still not nearly as satisfying as you'd expect from one of the most important figures in the history of rock. That's partly because Lennon spent his solo years painfully aware of how important he was, alternately trying to see how he could use his fame to act in the world and how he could rebel against his fame's trappings.