On January 20, I posted a blog titled "Everest" about the album Abbey Road. In it I wrote, "the level of artistic sophistication and achievement [on Abbey Road] surpassed anything the band accomplished up to that point". While admitting the existence of impassioned debate on the subject (some argue - and quite justifiably - that Sgt. Pepper is the better album), what is unanimously agreed upon is that Harrison's Abbey Road songs ( "Something" and  "Here Comes the Sun") were the best he had written to that point (and possibly ever). Indeed, these two songs show a significantly increased compositional maturity and sophistication.
Take, for example, the motivic unity in "Something": Observe the graphic below (click the graphic to view a larger version of the same image). At the top is the famous opening motive; below are the initial two lines of the opening verse. The melody of the verse is the motive retrograded - meaning the initial note of the motive is the same note at the end of this section of the verse, while the note at the end of the motive is the same note that starts the verse, etc.
This pattern is not exact (notice how there is an extra A in the motive absent from the verse, and how there is a D in the verse absent from the motive; plus the rhythms are completely different), but this does not detract from the compositional sophistication. In fact, it might add to it - a lesser composer might well have insisted on an exact intervallic and rhythmic retrograde at the cost of quality of product just to maintain more exact motivic unity.
Furthermore, I highly doubt this unity was a conscious decision on Harrison's part. (I do not believe Harrison sat down with his guitar one day and thought to himself, "I want to write a song where the motive and the melody of the verse are retrogrades of each other!") Nevertheless, it is there, and it marks a significant development for Harrison's skills as a songwriter.
This blog is a workshop for developing my analyses of The Beatles' music.