Paul McCartney is my absolute hero. Does that make me biased when reviewing his latest release? Shit yeah. But that doesn’t mean I can’t be objective.
Paul used his time in lockdown, nay, “rockdown”, wisely, recording his third “solo” (i.e. writing, playing and producing) album.
Returning to some half-written potential future classics, he gradually built upon them, layer by layer, using some of rock’s most iconic instruments, including (natch) his Hofner bass, the Mellotron keyboard used on Strawberry Fields Forever, and a double bass that belonged to Bill Black, which Linda had gifted him for his birthday during the mid 70s.
McCartney III opens with some jaunty guitar on the largely instrumental Long Tailed Winter Bird.
One of the album’s nice little rockers, is Lavatory Lil. Could it be about ex-wife and general nightmare, Ms Mills? Paul won’t divulge, although the gold digger vibes and lyrics, among them, “She’s acting like a starlet, but she’s looking like a harlot, as she’s slowly heading over the hill,” suggest that it might be.
Being a solo affair, Paul supplies several backing vocals, reminiscent of Robber’s Ball (that’s one for the Macca fans!)
Clocking in at nearly eight-and-a-half minutes, Deep Deep Feeling, is a piano-laden track with a false ending. Pleasant enough, with a funky vibe, but it does run that bit too long.
One of several highlights on the album is Seize The Day. Wintery images abound in this track. Even Santa Claus gets a mention.
Winter Bird / When Winter Comes is my personal favourite. Sharing the same intro as Long Tailed Winter Bird, this is supposedly the track that got the ball rolling for the new record. It segues into the sweetly pretty When Winter Comes (a track that would have fit nicely on his first solo album, McCartney, in 1970, and, actually started life during the 90s, from a George Martin session for Flaming Pie.)
It finishes off the album beautifully.
Paul didn’t make this album because he had to. He did it because he wanted to and he could.
I’ve had the luxury of hearing this album on high rotation for the last few weeks, and it gets better with every listen. Paul also has a habit of putting some of his best work out as B-sides and extra tracks, so we have more gems to look forward to, I’m sure.
And for those of you asking if his voice holds up, yes it does.
Paul is 78. And a half.
And he’s still making music.
And I, for one, am thrilled about that.
McCartney III is 18 December 2020. On cassette, CD and on vinyl in almost as many shades as on the Pantone® Color Chart.
1. Long Tailed Winter Bird
2. Find My Way
3. Pretty Boys
4. Women and Wives
5. Lavatory Lil
6. Deep Deep Feeling
8. The Kiss of Venus
9. Seize the Day
10. Deep Down
11. Winter Bird / When Winter Comes
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