- 21 Sep 18
Macca's Melodious Masterclass
Paul McCartney loves to wheel out a well-honed yarn about how he and John Lennon, bereft of any class of tape recorder in the early days, only pursued songs they could remember the next day. If the work wasn’t catchy enough to recall, they reasoned, then it wasn’t worth it. Thankfully, there’s plenty here that would pass that yardstick.
As per usual, he veers between ballads and jaunty rockers. As evidenced by 2015’s pretty great Chaos And Creation In The Backyard, and the best songs here (like ‘I Don’t Know’, ‘Happy With You’ and the beautiful ‘Hand In Hand’), the slower numbers suit him better. Still, the up-tempo selections have charms to recommend too.
A title like ‘People Want Peace’ might make fans cringe, especially if they remember ‘Freedom’, but it begins, at least, like a lost Beach Boys outtake. ‘Dominoes’ has a backward guitar section, horns save ‘Come On To Me’, and the Wingsesque centrepiece ‘Despite Repeated Warnings’ takes a well-aimed shot at Trump. Dylan would hardly lose much sleep over the lyrics, and the sexy-time sentiment of the ‘Fuh You’ chorus feels a bit odd, but McCartney’s musical gifts dwarf almost everyone else. There are arresting middle eights, unexpected melodic twists – and even downright clangers like ‘Back In Brazil’ and ‘Caesar Rock’ boast ear-catching flourishes.