Paul McCartney seems to me to be one of the most polarizing forces in music. His legacy with The Beatles is practically unassailable, which led in no small part to critics lining up with sharp knives during his solo career. It's not that Paul didn't deserve a few of sharp sticks, but the music often seemed to take a backseat to the pre-written narrative of some snotty critics determined to get in their licks.
The first two melodies bouncing around the echo chamber that sat atop my neck this morning were The Beatles' "For No One" and McCartney's "Driving Rain." Praising The Beatles isn't cliche to the point of being pointless, but it's damn close. Saying something nice about McCartney's later works is semi-novel territory.
There's nothing special about the song on its face. It's lyrically nondescript, but it's not insipid or insulting. McCartney plays to his strengths as a vocalist and stays in his comfort zone as a great singer of pop/rock songs. There is just a little fray in his voice as age has begun to compress the range of notes he can comfortably hit and command in his upper register, but it's all very pleasant and still filled with the warmth and welcome his voice has become famous for providing. It's hard for me to say this with a straight face considering we are talking about Monsignor Whitebread here, but there's a little hint of R&B to this one.
The melody is addictive like crackrock, with a set of wicked sharp teeth that sink into your head and never let go. There are songs on my iPod I'm physically incapable of listening to only once. I don't listen to "Driving Rain" every day or even every month but when I do listen to it, it's getting played more than once.
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, let's go for a drive…