Paul McCartney has reached another crossroad in his life with the end of a long-term relationship, a divorce from his wife Heather. Surely, this hurt at this stage of his life but it could not hold a candle to losing Linda, his soul mate and lifetime friend. Leave it to an outstanding artist like McCartney to take his life experiences and turn them into some great music.
Memory Almost Full revolves around a man that has lived a full life but has regrets like us all. The title is very ‘today’ referencing our technological mindset. This is a very personal album for the artist and it becomes very evident after hearing the first few tracks.
If you had any inkling that Paul was heading into retirement and his best years were behind him, think again, he is back stronger than ever. Chaos and Creation in the Backyard was good but forgettable; it lacked the energy and spirit of this effort. The irony of that is he was recording this album prior to that release then circled back to finish it. I cannot stop playing this album; I listened to it 4 times within a two-day period. It is like the old Beatles and Wings recordings; every time you hear it, you like it more.
“Dance Tonight” kicks things off with a snappy melody and Paul is in good voice. He sounds inspired and full of the same energy found on some of his best work. “Ever Present Past,” a lock for a hit single, while a great tune musically, tells his story, a then and now view. It comes across loud and clear. I felt sad hearing what he had to say but then again always feel warm and tingly inside after hearing a song by any Beatle regardless of the subject matter.
“House of Wax” features some great piano and an outstanding emotional vocal performance followed by a rockin’ guitar around the middle section – it is a prolific track and certainly should find its way climbing up the singles charts if it gets that opportunity. “Nod Your Head” also rocks… both tracks are reminiscent of the Wings at their peak. I could not help but think back to his classic Band On The Run album. All of this taken into consideration, it is all good for Sir Paul. The fans will be very pleased.
“End of the End” is Paul’s ode to his mortality, although most of us consider him an icon, a legendary figure that will never die. He sings how he wants bells to be ringing and people singing when he dies. When that day comes, it would be only appropriate to celebrate his incredible life and all the joys he has brought to millions of people through music.
Paul plays all the instruments on the recording, with the exception of some help on a few of the tracks. After being a big label figurehead for a majority of his career, he is now showing the indie world how to do it. You have to believe he has something else up his sleeve right around the corner. On an interesting note, he leaves it up to the listener to come to his website to get the rest of the lyrics for each song, each listed in the CD sleeve, but only a teaser as only a few lines for each are provided. The cover has a built-in crease on the right-hand corner so you can fold it and see Paul in pink. The instructions are on the site but I passed on the origami lesson. Smart marketing I do say so myself. Of course, once you get to the site you will spend time there and end up buying something else. There is nothing wrong with a little entrepreneurial spirit now is there?
McCartney has found a groove, a second wind to reignite his career to another level, if that could possibly exists for someone of his stature, and that should carry him along for several more years. Welcome back Paul, your music heals you and all the rest of us listeners along the way. As I look at my own mortality in the mirror, I can feel some relief and become 18 inside all over again when I listen to this extraordinary music.
01. Dance Tonight
02. Ever Present Past
03. See Your Sunshine
04. Only Mama Knows
05. You Tell Me
06. Mister Bellamy
08. Vintage Clothes
09. That Was Me
10. Feet in the Clouds
11. House of Wax
12. End of the End
13. Nod Your Head