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Mccartney album review


Lew Bundles

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You know, even back in the seventies it took me a few listens to absorb a new McCartney album. But the melodies are what grabbed me first, not the lyrics. I liked "Chaos and Creation...", and thought it was his best work since "Flaming pie". This one though is lacking in the melody dept. I have added "Only mama knows" along side "Dance Tonight", and "Ever Present Past" as the ones I do like off of it.

Marvin, "Gratitude" also makes my skin crawl! lol

and I liked the comment "Radio? what's radio?"

Jeff

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They've been promoting McCartney's new single "Dance Tonight" through out the finals game this evening. The song's starting to grow on me!!!

I find myself humming the melody to this one over and over again, too! The song is deceptively simple, but the melody is freaking catchy beyond belief. And the Starbucks thing? I can't imagine any other company getting Paul and his new CD so much attention!

Bernie

PS: Paul's new Apple iPod commercial is GREAT! CHECK IT OUT!

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Haven't heard any of Paul's new material. I'm afraid to buy it. Two reasons. Over time FOR ME Paul's songs really haven't all held up that well at all. His distinct lack of testosterone [whimpism] really blows through in this hindsight fueled day and age. John's material [and George's too] seem to sound better with each passing year.

The other reason is Paul doesn't compose music and melodies anywhere near as naturally as he seemed to back in the 60s and 70s. His last album left me stone cold and I'm not ready to shell out another 20 bucks just to reaffirm my feeling that Paul is past his creative prime. WELL past it.

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Lee your comments have been echoed by many others on this site. Guess you'll never know if the album was worth it unless you take the plunge. By the way, the local HMV had it for $13.99, and Starbucks had it for around the same price, so it won't cost you $20.

Marv

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I had several hours on a plane yesterday to kill, so I gave the new McCartney CD another chance. And while it seemed to start stronger than I remember (no doubt due to the zillion times I have heard "Dance Tonight" since I first spun this CD), it goes downhill fast from there for me. My review is still a solid "thumbs down." I wish Paul would just write more hooks. "Dance Tonight" proves that he still has it in him, although the lyrics leave a lot to be desired. For all of the accolades bestowed upon something like "Mr. Bellamy," for instance, I defy anyone to hum it. And as for the so-called medley "reminiscent of Abbey Road"—it decidely isn't!

Bernie

PS: I'm sitting in my L.A. hotel room this morning and outside my window is the House of Blues on Sunset Strip :-)

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Lee...Do Yankee fans turn off the T.V. when Mariano Rivera comes in the game because he's past his prime? or do people change the channel when Sosa is up?...Or did they look away when Gretzky got the puck while a Ranger?...Greatness shines through, even occasionnally to those who once possesed it...Oh, I forgot..."We're Jammin'...I wanna jammin with you" or Is This Love, is this love, is this love, is this love that I'm feeling" has elevated your cultural level to such a degree that you cant listen to anything else?...

You guys make me laugh with all this "relevancy" talk...Here you all are, biggest fans in the world of EC, who writes nothing but love songs, but Mccartney is not "relevant"...They are only songs, boys...I dont think that Buffalo Soldier is the new Battle Hymm of the Republic...

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Well...I'll guarantee you one thing 'Lew'...I know a damn sight more about Paul McCartney and his entire body of work than you do about Bob Marley or his music. As such...you're not qualified to even begin to conduct this conversation.

But if it ever boils down to rhyming off the songs contained on a greatest hits compilation...I'll be sure to look you up.

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Haven't heard any of Paul's new material. I'm afraid to buy it. Two reasons. Over time FOR ME Paul's songs really haven't all held up that well at all. His distinct lack of testosterone [whimpism] really blows through in this hindsight fueled day and age. John's material [and George's too] seem to sound better with each passing year.

The other reason is Paul doesn't compose music and melodies anywhere near as naturally as he seemed to back in the 60s and 70s. His last album left me stone cold and I'm not ready to shell out another 20 bucks just to reaffirm my feeling that Paul is past his creative prime. WELL past it.

Wow, this has the makings of a great feud! Lee, are you really Raspberry Wine in disguise? (My friend RasWine likes to rip Paul on occasion, just to bait me.... I usually bite, too, and find myself defending Paul.)

First, I would say this: You sound like you simply don't dig the post-Beatles Paul, so don't feel obligated to buy his music. It's not like there aren't a gazillion other listening choices. You're simply not a fan.

Second, I don't agree with your "wimpism" comment. And to say he's past his prime is a strange comment. If you're talking about a creative songwriting prime, well, yeah: That would be his Beatle years. How can anyone top that stuff? You can't sit around and wait for him to re-write "Penny Lane" or "Hey Jude." And why should he?

It's the same with Lennon. His solo stuff was great, but not even he could match his Beatles output. Listen to his final two albums; there are tracks that might draw the same "lack of testosterone" comment from you. "Grow Old with Me," "Beautiful Boy," "Woman," and "Watching the Wheels" had critics saying he'd lost his edge. But hey, they're beautiful songs; they just reflect a different part of his life. In fact, they're even kind of McCartneyesque in their tone. A song doesn't have to be edgy or angry or intense to be good.

Heck, I admire Paul for continuing to write quality pop music, taking some chances, and touring with a set list that mixes a few new things with all those classics. It sounds like you'd rather have him barred from the recording studio if he can't keep writing "Can't Buy Me Love."

I tend to buy everything Paul does and to give it a chance. No, his 1980s and 1990s CDs don't get near the same level of time in my CD player as his Beatles and Wings work, but there are songs from that era worth repeated listening. And I think he's been great in the 21st century --- sort of a "comeback." Driving Rain is one of my five favorite McCartney albums, and the latest is really strong, IMHO....

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Lee...Baby lyrics...The same arrangements everytime...Total lack of imagination...Marley...He wants to "Jammin " with you...So thought provoking...You probably are meditating to this right now, so you probably cant respond..."No Woman, No Cry" is about as dumb as "99 Problems" but a Bitch Aint One...I have to go...Its time for me to get deep into thought provoking...The Bible or "Jammin"...Hmmm. Let's see...Tough choice...

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For what it's worth, these would be my favorite McCartney post-Beatles releases (including live albums, but excluding compilations):

1) Back in the U.S. (2002). Probably because it's from the best concert I ever saw.

2) Ram (1971). Kind of a rough and lovable collection. High points: "Too Many People," "Ram On," "Back Seat of My Car," and "Dear Boy." My little daughters LOVE "Uncle Albert."

3) Band on the Run (1973). I love the title song plus "Nineteen Hundred And Eighty Five," "Jet," and "No Words."

4) Back to the Egg (1979). Full of gems that haven't been overplayed: "Getting Closer," "Rockestra Theme," "Old Siam Sir,"

and "So Glad to See You Here." I even dig "Arrow Through Me."

5) Driving Rain (2001). I think the band Paul put together for this album and tour has really sparked him. Great players.... and great songs, especially the first four ("Lonely Road," "From a Lover to a Friend," "She's Given Up Talking," and title track). I bet Paul wishes he could excise "Heather" from the album, though.

6) Venus and Mars (1975). "Treat Her Gently" is a great ballad that no one's ever heard of. I also dig "Venus and Mars/Rocks Show" and "Listen to What the Man Said."

7) Red Rose Speedway (1972). "Big Barn Bed," "Little Lamb Dragonfly," "Get on the Right Thing" --- this is underrated but great stuff. "My Love" is here, too. However, Memory Almost Full may yet bump this one down on my list.

The only problem with this list of mine is that it excludes the studio recording of "Maybe I'm Amazed," plus "Mull of Kintyre," "Live and Let Die," "Flaming Pie," and two GREAT songs from Flowers in the Dirt: "Figure of Eight" and "My Brave Face."

IMHO, of course....

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LC...I have loads of post Beatles Paul material. Live...he puts on one of THE finest shows period. I'm partial to Ram and Band on the Run as well...and certainly well beyond that. Venus and Mars is also rather excellent.

I like McCartney...and its overall simplicty of presentation. Wild Life...not so much. Choba B I thought could have used a little more gusto. Speed of Sound...yes. Flowers in the Dirt...again...not so much. Oh...and I like Tug of War.

I just think that he's reached a point where he labours over his craft and once it becomes that...the flow ain't all that it once was. And I am finding that SOME of his songs aren't standing MY test of time. That's a personal thing. So it goes. He's one of the greatest and his deeply committed fans will grab everything he does...as I do with Brian Wilson. Doesn't mean it's all as good as it once was.

Most recently...Chaos and Creation left me really flat... Like an abused roadside pop can.

Lennon and McCartney inspired one another...no two ways about it. Once that tie was cut...neither was quite a great...as often. Then there's now.

Bundles you know next to nothing about Bob Marley...or his complete body of work. That's plainly obvious. Perhaps you're just 'pizzed' 'cause I don't share your insatiable appetite for the obvious. I'd hate to think that it's only due to ignorance.

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Lee,

Of Paul's past three studio albums, I'd give Driving Rain an A-/B+ and Chaos & Creation (fittingly) a C, although I didn't really give it as much of a chance as I could have... (in other words, I don't "know" the record as well as Driving Rain). As for the new one, I'm sold on that single --- it's got a great hook, and I'm okay with the sort of whimsical lyric --- and I dig "Ever Present Past" and "Only Mama Knows." But I'm still working through the rest of the album (and trying not to be influenced by Bernie's tough review!) :-)

I love Brian Wilson as well. One of the great disappointments of all time, music-wise, is the thought of what we lost when Brian went into his "out of it" period, which seemed to last from Smile until Eugene Landy got nudged out of the picture (give or take a few bright moments). Over the past 10 years, I love the fact that Brian has toured and brought his classics to the concert trail; I just have trouble really embracing his studio work. In fact, IMHO, McCartney has been a lot more "on" than Brian the past 10 years.

Even so, both should be treasured for being survivors and bringing their music to their fans all these years. Wouldn't it be great to have them collaborate on an entire album of new stuff? I mean, Paul has collaborated with Jeff Lynne and Elvis Costello.... why not Brian Wilson?

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both should be treasured for being survivors and bringing their music to their fans all these years. Wouldn't it be great to have them collaborate on an entire album of new stuff? I mean, Paul has collaborated with Jeff Lynne and Elvis Costello.... why not Brian Wilson?

Pretty much agree with your assessment of both icons...especially the part I quoted.

Still...a little honesty helps to keep an artist 'real' with both feet on the old terra firma. ['cept for Brian who only looks like he's back from his meltdown SINCE SMiLE finally proved to be successful and more importantly accepted...to standing 'O's.] We'll see what his next lp brings...but that one he released just before SMiLE...with Paul on the one track too...... Ooooops!!!

The next release will show us whether Brian can still compose a GREAT melody. I'm hoping.

[and I do agree that Paul has been far more 'ON' that Brian over these past 40 years]

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Like every Paul album, there are a couple of cringeworthy moments (the vocal line on Gratitude for starters), but then again Your Mother Should Know was hardly a great leap forward either.

I hate using the word "mama" in a song, but that's about the only flaw I hear in "Only Mama Knows". And there are a few others that deserve accolades too. The "medley" thing is a ruse. It's not a medley. It's a bunch of songs with no space between them.

On the balance, I think it's better than anything he's done in a while. Chaos and Creation was good, if maybe a little too noodly in places, and substantial parts of Flowers in the Dirt were quite good too.

IMHO, Memory Almost Full obliterates recent albums like Off the Ground ("Peace in the Neighbourhood" is probably the most cringe-inducing thing he's done, and unfortunately it's not alone on this album), Driving Rain (I just never warmed up to this one and I can never remember any of the songs) and even Flaming Pie (which, while having some good songs, seems incomplete with some really long and pointless songs that Steve Miller and Ringo cannot save).

But at the same time, I can see why people wouldn't like Memory Almost Full. It's so hard to rationally and fairly assess Paul's music. There's his past, his past excesses and underachievements, his image, the comparisons to John (and to a lesser extent George and Ringo), his family woes, his Starbucks deal, his incredible wealth...everybody gets distracted by something and has their own agenda when reviewing Paul's work.

For me, each new Paul album is a fascinating listen. It may not be *great*, but I still want to hear what he's doing (although sometimes I will buy a used copy instead of a new one, as a sort of punishment). And I suspect that's enough for most of us.

Not that I'm encouraging this sort of thing, but Paul is an ideal candidate for home-made compilation CDs. Too bad Chaos and Creation was copy-protected.

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