Memory Almost Full
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Well, hold onto your hats. You still have to make presumptions, and assume even more, but it's obvious that McCartney has a lot on his mind, and he's putting those thoughts into lyrics. Unlike previous tactics, where he often applied his observations to third parties, "Memory Almost Full" displays McCartney singing mostly in the first person. He still keeps his cards fairly close to his vest, but you can't help but sense that he's really trying to convey something disarmingly honest about himself. Virtually every song on the album includes the word `I'. Of course, these songs could be characterizations, too, but I doubt it. There's such a strong underlying theme of mortality running through this collection of songs that it would nearly impossible to fake anything so heavy and earnest.
"Memory Almost Full" overflows with intense ruminations on time passing and the finality of death, and yet McCartney still maintains a whimsical tone throughout most of the disk. - How Paul McCartney-like is that? Who else could sing about impending death and make it sound like a Sunday drive?Read more ›
In "Vintage Clothes," among highlights on his vibrant new CD, "Memory Almost Full," the knighted grandfather warns, "Don't live in the past/Don't hold on to something that's changing fast." It's an odd sentiment from history's most successful living songwriter from its most famous band who, before turning 30, wrote backward glancing music hall classics like "Yesterday," "Honey Pie," and "Your Mother Should Know."
But announcing his intents early allows McCartney musical and lyrical space to examine his "ever present past" (to quote his zippy first single) with warmth if not bitterness. (This is sensible, as it's Macca's first release with Starbucks Coffee's new music label.) He knows each new song refers you to a Beatles or Wings classic. "House of Wax"'s guitar solo recalls 1968's White Album's distorted rock. "Dance Tonight," a deceptively simple melody over strummed, country stomp, echoes McCartney's first, homegrown solo records. Sir Paul sings his childhood scrapbook over "That Was Me"'s jazzy backbeat, from young Paul's appearing in scout camp and school plays to signing his first contract. He then concludes, "When I think that all this stuff could make a life/it's pretty hard to take it in."
"Only Mama Knows," "Memory's" most memorable song, at first recalls mid-70s chuggers like "Jet" and "Junior's Farm.Read more ›
Let's get the bad stuff out of the way first. One: The packaging of the deluxe edition is poorly conceived. A number of flaps and folding parts, with the discs sitting partially on top of each other. It's a bit of a hassle to access the discs, and this is really unnecessary. And Two: The song "Gratitude" really should have been cut. It's not horrible, but, like Elton John's "All that I'm Allowed" on Peachtree Road, it's just not up to snuff and is a real blip in the middle of an otherwise outstanding disc. Any of the three songs on the bonus disc would have been better in "Gratitude's" spot.
On to the good stuff. Just about everything else, basically! McCartney front loads the albums with the big highlights. "Dance Tonight" is an infectious, beautiful, deceptively simple tune ("McCartneyesque" would be the word).
The second song, "Ever Present Past," is the best on the album, in my opinion. In fact, it's one of the best songs McCartney's written in his solo career. The energy, the sentiment, the melody - everything about it is perfect. Unlike Jenny Wren did on "Chaos and Creation in the Back Yard," it recalls the Beatles in the lyrics without utilizing a Beatley sound. Instead of summoning the spirit of any Beatles songs, it just looks back from a modern place and makes you feel great the way only a pop song can. I just can't say enough about "Ever Present Past." Even if the rest of the album stunk, it would be worth it for that one.
But the rest of the album does not stink. It has some slower songs, some lovely orchestration, some rockers, danceable pop tunes.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It's sad when such a mediocre work comes out of a bank of talent and richness that was the Beatles and McCartney's solo career. Read morePublished 8 months ago by D. Morriss
Best PM music ever. I now have one for my car, and have given one to another individual for their vehicle. Read morePublished 9 months ago by SK
I became obsessed with finding the meaning of The House Of Wax! Which I did when we park next to the Paul McCartney ranch. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Sharon Simpson
Paul has had plenty of lightweights in his canon, but "Dance Tonight" has got to be one of his most toothless. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Dave Fever Tree Sigmon
I have read some reviews that talk about how great his album is. I'm not sure what they were listening to. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Fred M.