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Memory Almost Full
Format: Audio CD|Change
Price:$9.52+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime

on August 17, 2016
1. In Private. An acoustic-to-electric instrumental that reminds me of some prog rock passage from the 1970s. Quite enjoyable.

2. Why So Blue. A mid-tempo ballad that is one of the highlights of the entire album, I can't believe this didn't make the cut. Five maccas for this one.

3. 222. Another instrumental. This one is piano-based and jazzy, nothing like the first one. Quite enjoyable also, but I give a slight nod to the first one.

All in all, these three bonus tracks definitely enhance the album, and it drives me crazy to listen to an album (any album) and know there are bonus tracks I don't have.
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on October 5, 2012
Memory Almost Full is an good album. Paul's last album of strong vocals.... See Your Sunshine is a classic McCartney style song. The bass playing, great runs up and down and a good vocal to. Ever Present Past is a home type of recording McCartney is known for, playing everything. Only Mama Knows is done with his band, McCartney style rocker that sounds like Junior's Farm . 'That was Me' rocks, talking about some of his life from boy to now. Dance Tonight is a good but simple song. The track End OF The End is ok but whistling was kind of weak in the middle. Half the songs he plays everything. Enjoy his songs for what they are now. Thanks for this album Paul. 05/20/2013 updated
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on July 13, 2007
I've been a Paul McCartney fan since the Beatles hit America. The material in "Memory Almost Full" is some of his best effort in years, and should please most McCartney fans. HOWEVER... the recording quality on most Beatles songs was FAR better. This CD is recorded SO LOUD that it overdrives a CD player's D-to-A conversion circuits. I realize many of today's listeners prefer their music on a 3-inch speaker with the same frequency response as AM radio of the early 1950's. But Paul McCartney appeals to an older audience and SOME of us have good stereo systems. What a shame that such excellent material and performances are recorded with only slightly better fidelity than two tin cans on a string! And the "Deluxe" edition is in an "overkill" case, fatter than a DVD movie case, which will fit in NO ONE'S CD rack! I'd give Paul's efforts an A+, but the engineering and packaging earns an F.
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VINE VOICEon June 30, 2007
'Memory Almost Full' is inevitably going to be a disappointment after the truly excellent 'Chaos and Creation in the Back Yard'. However, Sir Paul still retains the craftsmanship and variety he perfected on the previous outting, so this CD is "full" of memorable moments.

Perhaps the best song showcases Mr. Virtuoso at his uplifting best. "Dance Tonight" is complete with an inviting and spunky foot-stomping mandolin accompaniment. The second song is nearly as appealing. The progressive "Ever Present Past," is catchy in a unique, throbbing way. Next in memory is "See You Sunshine," providing dexterity and a soulful, pleasing ballad. This is a concept album, and most of his lyrics elicit memories of the past. One of his most personal is the primal, hard-rocking "Only Mama Knows". Later, "You Tell Me," is an acoustically beautiful number that is reminiscent, but not redundant of "Distractions" from 'Flowers in the Dirt'. "Mr. Bellamy" provides variety by musically adding the stature of brass with lyrics about some aloof aristocratic "Prufrock" type. "Gratitude" is a happy memory, adding some bluesy gospel with one of the few times that the concept is solid, but needs more elaboration. On "Vintage Clothes" McCartney offers to tell us "Don't live in the past," mirrored in other songs stating his preference for the present. Whistleable like many of the other tunes, "Vintage" and "That Was Me" only sees the past on Paul's terms. Paul's perfectionism is in play on the luxuriously orchestrated "Feet in the Clouds," where I believe he tries to spar about his legacy. He takes himself less seriously on "The End of the End," a self-made epitaph, where he suggests he'd like jokes told at his own funeral. Death to him is eloquently stated as, "The start of a journey to a much better place...[with] no reason to cry." If these are poignant moments, then "House of Wax" is one of the album's highlights. Taking dirge-like music and images, Paul reminds us on this and other songs of the unforgotten vocal powers he possesses. (Listening to the song I didn't know if he was singing about relatives or the victims of 9/11. Maybe he's eliciting memories of all loved ones.) "Nod Your Head" is the hard-rock finale' that sends us off big and quickly. (It is fascinating because the song will inevitably make us wonder if he's offering this soliloquy about Heather Mills.)

'Memory Almost Full' shows Paul's prudence. His versatality and patience with his craft have created for him a worthy renaissance in his music. With his efforts here, the album is almost full of memorable moments.
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on June 19, 2007
One of the selling points for this fine album has been that McCartney, for the first time since Abbey Road, has composed and/or assembled a "suite" of songs. By stating this, the implications are that the so-called suite is somehow "like" the one on Abbey Road, and that McCartney doesn't routinely think in terms of "collections" of song fragments.

Neither is true.

For starters, it's not the first time since Abbey Road. There's a series of connected tunes on Red Rose Speedway, clearly identified as a medley. The major themes of the Band on the Run lp are repeated at the end of that lp's final track. A number of McCartney's post-Beatles songs are crammed together fragments; for instance, the excellent, "The Mess," the b-side of "My Love." In fact, some of his best known compositions are simply bits that are artfully crammed together: "Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey," and "Band on the Run," to name but two. McCartney has visited this technique again and again. He's quite good at it, in fact. Why pretend that it is something unusual for him?

George Harrison often accused McCartney of selective memory to suit his needs. Maybe this is yet another instance.

The suite itself is in no way reminiscent of McCartney's earlier efforts with this compositional form, however. These are complete stand-alone songs that slightly overlap in their end and beginning points. This is accomplished without the clever crossfading, cool sound effects, and other ideas employed on Abbey Road. In that regard, the suite is disappointing. Had it not been built up as "son-of-Abbey Road" it wouldn't be.

So, is the album any good?

Of course.

It glories in McCartney's current sonic strengths: glorious, soulful singing, lots of Wings era electric guitar using period effects, strong backing vocals, and like his previous two albums this one continues an increasing reliance on his excellent falsetto and...believe it or not...whistling. Among his still living contemporaries his voice is simply without peer.

Standout songs include: "Only Momma Knows" a power pop blowout you won't believe, and, though the fake string quartet intro leaves me cold, "You Tell Me" is a great guitar ballad that includes a tasty electric guitar solo, nice vocal backing and the previously alluded to seventies guitar effects. The album's strangest composition, "Mr. Bellamy," which would be at home on a 10cc record, is a character song in classic McCartney mode. Funny stuff indeed.

Though the tuneful "Dance Tonight" is the first single, to my ears the best song is "See Your Sunshine" a gorgeous bit of r&b-inflected pop, which begins with a breath-taking vocal cluster I can't get out of my head.

As reviewers usually end up saying about deluxe editions by just about any artist, I'm not sure it was really worth springing for it. The foldout packaging is pretty cool and the photos of Paul are tasteful black and white, revealing his best haircut in years. Liner notes, lyrics and photos are on glossy paper that folds up like a set of postcards (but without the perforations).

The extra cuts on disc two? Er, well, not exactly essential. The instrumental "In Private" mixes harpsichord (eventually) with electric guitar. "Why So Blue" is a vocal number good enough to have been included on the main disc. "222," curiously, features Paul in 7/4, the time signature usually associated with Stereolab these days, possibly a first for the McCartney songbook. This one is clearly a kind of writer's sketch, Paul's brief vocalizing is tentative, but many of the other parts are fleshed out nicely. The 26-minute audio interview with Paul about the writing of these songs manages to be both informative and revealing, and tedious at times.

The album sits nicely with his two most recent studio efforts, Driving Rain and Chaos and Creation in the Backyard. McCartney's decision to work with producers other than himself has been a rewarding one, leading to new sounds, different arrangements, and recording and editing techniques that are not typical of his established sound. In other words, like so few of his contemporaries, in his sixties, he is brave enough to challenge himself as an artist. That it works so well is the astounding thing.

(added comment about amazon's description: McCartney does NOT play every instrument. He is joined by others on six songs)
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on June 13, 2007
The three best songs on this album deal with memory.

"You Tell Me" is perhaps brilliant. Its theme seems to be looking for happy memories among the dead ends and unfufilled hopes of life. This is "Yesterday" after a long life of intense joys and sorrows.

"That Was Me" is a reflective tune. It is a study of what happens when we look back over our lives; fitting the individual pieces together like a puzzle- finding that some pieces don't fit, and the picture that emerges isn't exactly what we expected to see. Paul flirts with a straight pop approach, and then gives us a little taste of chaos and melancholy, foreshadowing "House of Wax".

"House of Wax" is brutally effective. To me it sounds like Paul has stopped believing in the future. He sees "incomplete remainders of the future...buried in the yard." I think that Paul is confronting the reality of his life; finding that some of his hopes and dreams are not going to come to fruition, that so much of life is beyond any person's control. Paul's message has always been "Look, life is hard, so let's choose to make the best of it". Here, the self-contol slips, and he howls like a wounded animal.

The remainder of the album is uneven. Each song has some interesting elements, but they sound more like Paul working out some ideas in the studio than songs that will resonate with the faithful.

I bought the deluxe edition and wished that I didn't. The extra disk and packaging are non-essential at best.
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on May 11, 2008
This might be McCartney's best album yet.

Some songs show shades of past McCartney glory ("Only Mama Knows," "Vintage Clothes"), but some are incredibly orginal to Sir Paul ("House of Wax" "dance Tonight"). The jazz influences, specifically on the bonus tracks ("In Private" and "222") are absolutely wonderful. Maybe he'll come out with an entire jazz CD?!

I've already told my daughter that she should play "The End of the End" at my funeral. What a fantastic tribute song.

Only "Nod Your Head" does absolutely nothing for me and I actually skip the track when playing this disc in my car.

This one is worth picking up.
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on June 14, 2007
When I initially listened to the first few songs on the CD, I had the same reaction as I did with Chaos. I thought it was pretty dull. With Chaos, my opinion drastically changed when I heard "Friends To Go", "English Tea", "A Certain Softness" and my favorite, "This Never Happened Before," one of the best songs I've ever heard in my 44 years. The same thing happened with "Memory Almost Full" when I heard "The End of the End." No longer was this a boring album. Not with a song like that on it.

Paul outdoes himself on "The End of the End." The first time I heard it, I had a tear in my eye because I realized how long Paul's music has been in my life - and now he is talking about his funeral! How old we've both gotten! I was only 12 when I first became aware of Paul's existence, although I remember loving "Hello Goodbye" as a 3 year old. I have been a McCartney fan since the summer of '75 and the single "Listen to what the Man Said." I am listening to what THIS man has been saying for over 30 years! I'll admit that I hadn't bought a McCartney album in YEARS until Chaos. But now I won't stop until he does.

I loved hearing "Nod Your Head" after the feelings of sadness caused by "The End of the End." My interpretation is that for Paul, this is not the end, he is still rockin' at nearly 65 years old! Incredible.

The best thing is not only that he rocks and sings like an angel but apparently, he raps! I've been listening to hip hop almost as long as I've been grooving to Paul's music and in "That Was Me," I recognize the rap beat, the style of chant and even the term "Mersey beating," which sounds hip hop to me. I'm not sure if Paul meant the song to sound like a rap but it does. I love it!

I grew up with Wings first, then the Beatles. Therefore, I definitely do recognize Wings on this CD. Chaos was the Beatles. This is pure Wings.

The only downside is that the lyric sheet is not complete. I'm still giving the CD 5 stars, though.
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on June 16, 2007
Although not as dark as his last album, the classic "Chaos and Creation in the Backyard", Paul has made another fine album which is almost as good in its own right. It is a potpourri of catchy ditties to rockers to Beach Boy "Pet Sounds" influences. There appears to be more of a Beatle Sound here too (imagine that). First rate vocal work as usual is present in every cut and every cut is superior except for the curious inclusion of the downright awful "Nod Your Head" as the closing track. Filler like that we don't need (What was he thinking?). The limited Edition contains 3 solid bonus tracks and a rather lengthy but informative McCartney discussion about the album. Paul has now made 5 great albums in a row starting with the wonderful "Flaming Pie". Any of these so called fans who are still questioning McCartney about his present day validity as an artist have apparently not heard these last several albums. Keep 'em coming Paul.
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on August 12, 2007
McCartney manages to present some fresh new sounds while keeping very close to ghosts of the past. The rockers kick butt, the ballads are lovely as always, there are harmonies, there is sentiment, there is interesting lyricism and best of all to me, some of that great lead guitar playing of Paul's. I've been a fan of his for quite a long time, but truthfully I don't listen to much of his work past 'Flaming Pie' Actually, I don't listen to it at all, but this one? I know I'm going to wear out the disk.
Note to potential buyers: The album does NOT sound like the song you've been hearing in the iPod ads ('Dance Tonight' - the ukelele-based track.) It's tremendous and not hokey.
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