I love McCartney III. The first listen through and I wasn’t so sure but a slow burn Paul McCartney album is an excellent thing and this lockdown lockdown project is an excellent thing.
I think it was the quality of the playing that drew me in. This man is 78 years of age for goodness sake. Perhaps though that is the advantage. 60 years of honing his craft. Not only his bass playing, singing and songwriting craft but learning every instrument and how to arrange a song and produce a record. It is a lengthy apprenticeship.
Every aspect of Paul McCartney’s 60 years in the industry is right here. There’s The Beatles on Seize the Day, Wings on Slidin’, even a wee echo of his old mate John Lennon’s on Lavatory Lil. The acoustic pickings of Blackbird are everywhere particularly The Kiss Of Venus and Winter Bird/When Winter Comes, the latter giving a nod back to the first McCartney with its lyric about farms and ditches.
Best of all for me are two different songs with a theme. Deep Deep Feeling and Deep Down do what they say in the titles. They take you deep into heart and emotion. Deeper than McCartney sometimes does. If Deep Deep Feeling has any cousins in the McCartney catalogue it is probably McCartney 2 with its electronic deep groove. Just when you think 8 minutes is too long it hypnotises you into love with it.
All the press have been concentrating on the McCartney III aspect, seeing the album in the lineage of McCartney his first solo record just as The Beatles were splitting up and McCartney 2 recorded just after hi Japanese jail time in 1980.
There is no denying the likeness. All three certainly seem to be one man on his own, playing around, playing everything and being a little more free and easy than the usual way he goes about making million selling records.
What these three records do, among other things is reveal the development of recording equipment over 50 years, especially that that a megastar now has in his house! The writing and playing on McCartney III might be QIY but the recording desk isn’t! The layering on this record is there for all to see, especially the stunning vocals from a man who has been vocally suspect in recent years.
What I love about this 2020 edition of McCartney is the ingenuity of McCartney’s playing. He seems to have set himself free from manufacturing a hit album with the trendy new dudes on the block like Mark Ronson and Ryan Tedder. Oh I enjoyed New and Egypt Station but McCartney III will have me intrigued for longer me thinks!