With a 800m GBP estimated net worth, Paul McCartney is one of the very big names of the music business. The English singer, songwriter and musician is not only part of the legendary Beatles, but had massive success as a slo artist and producer thereafter. On 18th December 2020, right before Christmas, he releases a new album. Here are my thoughts about McCartney III.
Paul McCartney – About The Artist
The bio of Paul McCartney is that long and full of success that it is a huge challenge to compress it to a few words. Born on the 18th June 1942 in Liverpool, his first musical steps were as part of the band The Quarrymen, where he played with George Harrison and John Lennon for the first time. The band is still playing live shows nowadays (in an adopted line-up of course). Together with Ringo Starr, he dominated the worldwide music scene with the Beatles from 1960 to 1970. Between 1963 and 1970, they released 13 studio albums. The most well known is likely Sgt.Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967), which is very often referred to as the best rock album of all times and received 18 times platinum status in Great Britain only. Liverpool is the proud home city of the Beatles – among many other museums and exhibitions, you can visit the Beatles Story there.
After the break-up of the Beatles, McCartney had a really tough times, even though his follow up band Wings had quite some success. Their 1973 album Band on the Run, for example, went three times platinum in the US and topped the charts there as well as in Norway, the U.K., Australia and Canada. McCartney’s solo recordings were more successful in North America first. Part of his discography are the albums McCartney (1970, his solo debut) and McCartney II (1980). He again and again had successful singles as well, mostly with other artists, including Do They Know it’s Christmas? (with Band Aid, several versions), Ebondy and Ivory (with Steve Wonder, 1982) or the 2015 FourFiveSeconds with Rihanna and Kayne West).
Paul McCartney – McCartney III – Track by Track
The elven track album lasts 44 minutes. There is also a Japanese bonus version with four additional tracks.
1. Long Tailed Winter Bird
Do you, do-do, do you miss me?
Do you, do-do, do you feel me?
The first track is a huge surprise. First you feel that it is some sort of intro – then you recognize that it is a five minute track, which rather feels like an instrumental song, but has these few chorus lyrics. The elements are very repetitive and I catch myself struggling why I do not feel it is a boring one. McCartney catches me magically here with a touch of folk and blues.
2. Find My Way
Well I can find my way
I know my left from right
Because we never close
I’m open day and night
Find My Way feels very futuristic – a catchy and rhythmic track, in which McCartney plays with two kinds of voices, almost feeling like duet.
3. Pretty Boys
Meet the pretty boys
A line of bicycles for hire
Objects of desire
Working for the squire
You can look, but you’d better not touch
Third song, third very different style (and also topic): this track about male modeling feels like a laid back rock track, touch of blues, a bit of sleazy, but cool.
4. Women and Wives
Dark voice, piano, a bit of rhythmic support – there is not too much what Paul McCartney needs to create atmosphere. The sound still feels rich, a touch of traditional, but still up to date. He just does it on point – and thus, Women and Wives is a nice one as well.
5. Lavatory Lil
Also due to the fact that the songs in this section are rather short (Lavatory Lil is just 2:23 minutes), the album is very dynamic in here. The different sounds (this one is a cool blues rocker) just lets you enjoy McCartney III even more, you enjoy what you are listening to – and on the other hand already look forward to the next step.
6. Deep Deep Feeling
Deceleration: just right after I enjoyed the quick changes in style, the former Beatle goes for an eight minute track.
Now every time it rains, it sometimes gets too much
You know I feel the pain when I feel your loving touch
Emotion burns an ocean of love
You’ve got that hot emotion, burns an ocean of love
Not only due to its massive volume and duration, the song is some sort of center and core of the album. A bit on the cheesy side, definitely. A deep track with a lot of atmosphere. Cool!
Slidin’ starts with powerful guitars and thereby also closes the Deep Deep Feeling before.
I know there must be other ways
Of feeling free
But this is what I wanna do
Who I wanna be
And every time I try
I feel like I can fly
But I know that I can die trying
A touch of psychedelic sounds. I still feel that the album should rather confuse me – but I like it.
8. The Kiss of Venus
You are looking for the spirit of the Beatles in a McCartney album? The Kiss of Venus, where McCartney is singing in a falsetto voice consequently, is definitely a track which has a touch of the Liverpool boys. Nice!
9. Seize the Day
Just when you started enjoying thinking about the good old days of Paul, John, Ringo and George, there is another song, which could be easily seen as a Sgt. Pepper’s reference. Somehow, it is heartwarming to have these 3:21 minutes (even though I haven’t even been born when the four guys stepped on stage…), ain’t it?
10. Deep Down
Wanna get deep down
Wanna do it right
Wanna get deep down
And look around
This end of town tonight
Does it really surprise you that this track is a soul track and thus touching another genre on McCartney III? Deep Down is one of the most catchy songs of the album to me – a lovely musical trip lasting nearly six minutes.
11. Winter Bird / When Winter Comes
Must fix the fence by the acre plot
Two young foxes have been nosing around
The lambs and the chickens won’t feel safe until it’s done
I must dig a drain by the carrot patch
The whole crop spoils if it gets too damp
And where will we be with an empty store
When winter comes?
Paul McCartney makes me smile in his final tunes of the album. A song about the winter from a farmer’s perspective. Definitely an entertaining and funny listen.
Paul McCartney – McCartney III – Spotify
Here is the Spotify widget to McCartney III:
Paul McCartney – McCartney III – My View
Just before the year comes to an end, McCartney III is nothing like a huge statement to the world of music: trust in your legends. Paul McCartney illustrates in eleven tracks that he is home and comfortable in multiple music genres and can interpret them in a McCartney style. Whether he travels back to the Beatles era or daring a look to futuristic pop, the album never sounds artificial or made up – it is simply a good one! On the other hand, it is not a masterpiece or a superb album which you absolutely have to buy physically. But my guess is that is not what Paul McCartney intends with this one anyway: after Paul McCartney and McCartney II, a trilogy over a bunch of decades is closed in style and in an enjoyable way. He did already proof that he can do the masterpieces as well.
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