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Mccartney album review

Lew Bundles

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McCartney took his entire back catalogue with him when he left, too. This includes all his solo albums, and Wings releases, everything from McCartney to "Ram" to "Band on the Run" and "Chaos."

It's not like CDs still really sell or that many people are busy looking for "Red Rose Speedway" or "Flowers in the Dirt," but still: McCartney as a solo artist is one of the great success stories in the now nearly dead music business.

Whether taking "Memory Almost Full" to Starbucks is a smart move remains to be seen. The coffee chain has had a lot of hits with other company's releases, but also some duds. Can you say Antigone Rising?

And, of course, Starbucks also sells CDs at high prices. I have personally resisted James Morrison's album while waiting for cappuccino because it's $14.99. I could download it for $5 less.

On the other hand, outside of Amazon.com, Starbucks is one of the few places people my age will buy a CD at all. The remaining "record" stores are multitask disasters with thunderous hip-hop music making the visit very unpleasant.

Like most everything else in the music business, the era of contemplative record hunting through bins is over.

Even so, buying "Memory Almost Over" in Starbucks should prove to be a rewarding experience. McCartney is true to form on this CD, offering lush ballads and jangling rockers with as much gusto and unembarrassed gushing as ever. From the opening track, a mandolin-powered ebullient "Dance Tonight," to the closing power surge of "Nod Your Head," he's still got it.

Of course, nowadays, you listen to a Paul McCartney record more closely than ever for the lyrics. Is "Dance Tonight" some kind of comment on his gold-digging ex-wife's stint on "Dancing with the Stars"? Is the beautifully wistful "You Tell Me" sung to his late, beloved wife, Linda? What about "Ever Present Past" and "Vintage Clothes"? Aren't they nostalgic reminisces of that first, now much-missed marriage? It would seem so.

My favorite track, "That Was Me," a rockabilly shuffle, is disarmingly reflective for McCartney. For years, until his excellent "Flaming Pie" album, he eschewed real emotion for a veneer of flashed peace signs.

"That Was Me," as it is, inaugurates a five-song medley that finishes off "Memory." "Feet in the Clouds," "House of Wax" and "The End of the End" comprise the bulk of the medley. Some of the publicity compares this to the suite on "Abbey Road." Not really.

The medley really reminded me of a similar one on "Red Rose Speedway" and on some of the other solo albums. Paul McCartney loves a medley, you know. He loves stringing together short bits with different melodies.

Luckily, he's good at it. His medleys usually contain at least one gem. Back on "Red Rose," it was "Hands of Love." On this album, it's "Feet in the Clouds," a tour de force where McCartney — who has absolutely improved 100 percent as a lyricist — insists he has his "head on the ground" in a Beatle-esque counterpoint that even John Lennon would admire.

What will happen when "Memory" joins the ventis and the grandes and the chocolate-covered graham crackers on the Starbucks shelves?

Already, McCartney says he has made a video for "Dance Tonight" with director Michel Gondry. Natalie Portman is featured in it. But neither MTV nor VH1 plays many videos, and none by rock stars who will turn 65 three weeks after his album is released.

But no one writes or sings like Paul McCartney. After a roller coaster career of tremendous highs and curious lows, he has acquitted himself brilliantly on "Memory Almost Full."

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I managed to snag an advance of Paul's new CD and after one spin, my assessment is that in a musical sense it is very interesting. However, the lyrics are just plain uninspired and the melodies never quite got my toe tapping. This will take several listens. It is not instantly likeable.


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We just finished watching "In The World Tonight", the documentary of the making of Paul's "Flaming Pie" project. I still feel that it was the last album that had any of the McCartney "magic" in it. Just my 2 cents.

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I remember back in 89 when I heard "MY BRAVE FACE" for the first time. After that first listen, I instantly loved it. That's the last McCartney song that's done that for me. "Flowers In The Dirt" in my opinion is the last record of his that had some great songs. I stopped buying McCartney records after "Flaming Pie". I was very dissapointed after buying that one. Don't get me wrong folks,,,, Paul McCartney will ALWAYS remain to be a hero and my biggest influence musically speaking in my life. I'll just keep listening to the Beatles, McCartney, Ram, Band On The Run, Venus & Mars, etc.

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I'm not too crazy about it. I've had it for just over a week and I do like it more now than the first couple of listens but I really disliked it then. My favorite songs are "Only Mama Knows" and "You Tell Me". I despise "Ever Pesent Past", "See Your Sunshine" and "End of The End". I agree with Bernie about a lot of the lyrics, particularly in the three previously mentioned songs. One song, "Mr. Bellamy", reminds me of something Kate Bush might have done. I hated it at first as it's so un-Macca like but I find it a little more interesting now. I probably would have really liked it if Kate Bush had done it. "Vintage Clothes" has been stuck in my head the last couple of days and is starting to grow on me. The album has been getting a lot of positive reviews so far so I guess I'm in the minority.

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Barb I don't know if you're in the minority or not. I've read some reviews where they've bashed the album mercilessly, and then if you go to the McCartney website and read the reviews from the fans, you'd think that this new release was "Son of Band On the Run."


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personally,the biggest events for me right now is paul's release,and the raspberries release..i'm in desperate need of an uplifting ....it's been a horribly stressful last 3 weeks,one thing after another..so i AM SO looking forward to my fave artists releases!! lol,chris

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Anybody who dosent think that this album is up to snuff should go back and listen again...Sure there is some light weight stuff, but he has come a loooooong way, lyrically and his melodies/arrangements are as innovative as ever...My only complaint with the Mac are his choice of singles...Othere than that, a real good outing...

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