ALBUM REVIEWS

DAVID GRAY - SKELLIG

Skellig

I loved David Gray. Century’s End, Flesh and Sell, Sell, Sell were like a prophet spitting out spiritual depth charge after charge. I remember researching my essay on his work in my book The Rock Cries Out and the abundance of provocative thoughts was so overwhelming that I could only listen to a couple songs at time.

I was so pleased when White Ladder finally took off. I had bought the original Irish release, out before anyone outside Ireland was interested.  It took time. Irish DJ Donal Dineen took Gray on as a crusade and I was so pleased the first time I heard Babylon on the radio. Recognition at last.

Something got lost though. Maybe it was just more subtle but I missed the angsty protest and social critique of Let the Truth Sting, Birds Without Wings and What Are You?. The more popular it got the less I bothered.

Until now. Skellig. Oh my. Skellig is a rough and wild outcrop of rock off the west coast of Ireland. In the 6th Century monks lived in stone beehives upon its dangerous jagged rocky edges. The extreme measures of it caught David Gray’s attention and through it he got mine:

 
"Each heart a burning vessel
Out on a pitch black wave
Chewing the bone and gristle
When it's the flesh of love we crave"
 
That's the sharp, insightful of all that's important about life, David Gray in the very best of his old traditional early 90s ways! 
 

Gray speaks of Skellig, the place, “Pondering that idea, of setting up a monastery in such a remote place, how close to God could you possibly wish to be? It blows my mind anyway, to get so close to God in a contemplative way.”

You can see why I am hooked. The thing is that the entire album seems to have the reflective spirit of those monks. It is as if his meditations on Skellig as he lived through lockdown. The entire album is like seeking the purity of our core humanity, stripping back, finding the wonder. 

Accumulation seems to the antithesis, like a throw back to Sell, Sell, Sell. What we need to find refuge and escape from:

 

Mindless need is loosed among us

In our homes and down our streets

Singing like some mythic creature

Of great Edеns, through the gates

And you can have bеtter suction

Even wanton destruction

And all of this at very competitive rates

 

There is something about the sound of the music that is like a 21st century sound of those monks praying. The album was made over 5 days, like a creative retreat. It is simple, quietly gentle, very organic. Contemplative.

It is beautiful, at times poetry, at times beautiful melody, always engaging. The backing vocals are not at all big but sound as Gray himself puts it, “like a Celtic Choir”.

To these ears it is soothing, interrogating, loving and uncomfortably challenging all at once. Like a Sacred Retreat might be. I am back to those pre White Ladder days when I was sure that it would be revealed that Gray had been brought up in Welsh Presbyterianism. I couldn’t believe it when he hadn’t.

 

Well, on Skellig it is not so much Presbyterians as he is channeling 6th Century Irish monks that he channeling and prodding my soul again… so beautifully. 


DEACON BLUE - RIDING ON THE TIDE OF LOVE

DeaconBlue Riding

I took the ear plugs out and told Janice that I was listening to Deacon Blue. 

“Oh they were just on the car radio”

“Riding On The Tide Of Love”

“No one of the older ones”.

Welcome to the Deacon Blue story. Hit laden between 1988 and 94 and then almost 20 years of nothing before Hipsters in 2012 set them off mining a rich seam culminating in the stunning City Of Love album just a year ago. It is almost like two bands, two stories even though two thirds of the band are the same. 

The music is the same too, sophisticated songwriting on the fulcrum of rock and pop adding a plethora of other influences to the mix. 

Riding On The Tide Of Love is actually being presented as “a continuation” and “a companion piece” to last year’s City Of Love. Thematically that fits well but don’t think it is just more of the same. Deacon Blue are always adventuring for new nuances.

That title track. This is a whole new Deacon Blue sonic space. For maybe a bizarre reason it took me back to Don’t Let The Teardrops Start from their Ooh Las Vegas record, not in the busking sound but in the loose organic mischievous feel.

As I say Riding On The Tide Of Love is no busk. It is like a Vaudevillian Fairground romp. If Tom Waits and his wife Kathleen Brennan decided to write a song for a radio friendly rock band then this would be it. A unique Deacon Blue original 35 years in.

That one song is enough good reason for an extension to City Of Love in itself but there are no fillers with Deacon Blue. They used to put records together of the tracks they couldn’t squeeze on the official releases. Riding On The Tide Of Love’s other seven tracks offer seven other songs that are Deacon Blue all over but not like any Deacon Blue song before them.

From the stripped back Look Up, showcasing Lorraine McIntosh’s angelic voice in a sober Fairytale in New York, to the Bacharach echoes on It’s Still Early to the Memphis Soul of Send A Note Out to the gorgeous piano lead and brass of She’s Not Gonna Be That Girl.

That latter song is written with Nashville songwriter Tia Sillers and throws another hue. The imagery and storytelling took me back to Raintown closer Town To Be Blamed and perhaps hinted at the 35 years of artistic maturing in this soul filled band.

All in all, these eight songs are more silver linings of Coronavirus lockdown. As an anorak fan of artists I would love to trawl their home studios for the demoed gems we never heard. Imagine these being left on the Ross shelf.

I go back to the beginning. Riding On The Tide Of Love has verses filled with the menace of life’s challenging dark but then takes us to the lightness of a chorus filled with hope and light and love. If there is a vocal sound that best describes such a tide it is that blend of Ross and McIntosh voices, jousting, healing, soaring bringing harmony and beauty to the friction.

Ride on the tide of it when all remains is a city of… love!


ANGEL HEADED HIPSTER; THE SONGS OF MARC BOLAN & T. REX

Angel headed Hipster

This is great and well over due. A tribute album to the work of Marc Bolan & T. Rex that is not only a wonderful, celebration of his work but surely will have the work reassessed for its wonderful originality. 

Even I reassessed that. I shouldn’t have had to. I was a Bolan fan from the age of 11. Telegram Sam and Metal Guru were in the ether as pop music obsession began its seep into my life. Then when it had taken hold of me Children Of The Revolution, Solid Gold Easy Action and 20th Century Boy grabbed my fandom by the throat.

I loved Marc Bolan. I love the Glam Rock boogie of the hits. I Love To Boogie seemed a perfect soundtrack. I also loved the earlier folky acoustic stuff too. I loved the double package of My People Were Fair and Had Sky in Their Hair... But Now They're Content to Wear Stars on Their Brows and Prophets, Seers & Sages: The Angels of The Ages. Apparently that is the longest titled record ever to be number 1.

I was heartbroken when he died so young, though as a 15 year old I had no idea how young 30 was on that September morning in 1977 when I met my mate Rab to walk to school and he told me. It was the month after Elvis. What was going on?

Over the years I never lost my love. Any footage on TV and I was loving it. Yet, my obsession got hidden, crowded out by The Beatles, Van Morrison, Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell and so many more. Their lyrics were not so weird! I am not sure that I could get A Gospel According to… T. Rex. 

Listening to Angel Headed Hipster took me back to those glory Bolan days. This is such an endearingly put together collection by the late Hal Willner who sadly died of Covid 19 in April. 

Willner was able to draw a star studded cast and so U2 with Elton John on piano, Nick Cave, Joan Jett, Peaches, Kesha, Lucinda Williams and both of John Lennon’s sons to name a few. 

A stellar batch of artists, no matter how good, will not go far. Angel Headed Hipster’s strength is ultimately Bolan’s songs. They elevate his gift for melody and song craft. Nick Cave makes Cosmic Dancer a revelation, Lucinda Williams takes Life Is a Gas into swampy blues, Peaches gives contemporary energies to Solid Gold Easy Action. 

These are the songs of my youth. The songs indelibly marked. What Angel Headed Hipster has done is to make them the songs of my late fifties. It goes further. It has me falling in love with songs I had missed first time round. It has had me realise that I loved Marc Bolan when I loved the 7” single. There are album tracks to find. I found some here!

A wonderful tribute.


JONI MITCHELL: ARCHIVES - VOLUME 1; The Early Years (1963-1967)

Mitchell Archives 1

What a box of goodies this is!

First of all it is 5 CDs of unreleased Joni. At least officially! It is also of a very good quality indeed.

For me Joni Mitchell is ever ensconced in Laurel Canyon. It is 1970, somewhere between Ladies Of The Canyon and Blue. She is writing the best songs in a songwriting genre that she founded. She’s the queen of the scene. Songs about her romances with rock star boyfriends and the contemporary zeitgeist like Woodstock. 

Well, Archives - Volume 1 sets Joni Mitchell in a whole other world. It is Pre-Canyon. 

Oh I knew she was from Saskatoon. I loved the fact. I lean way more towards Canada than America. I have family in Toronto and had sabbatical in Vancouver. Yet I had missed the fact that it was here in the Canadian prairie where the Joni Mitchell gift was born. 

These five CDs are filled with the development of Joni Mitchell’s muse, from being brilliant to even more brilliant. This is a feast of radio shows and early demos. From old folk songs as early as 1963, I got a particular kick out of Molly Malone, to her early songs to live versions of songs that would litter albums for a few years to come.

That was the other revelation. Or maybe mystery. All of these recordings are before David Crosby took into recording studio and set that amazing recording career moving with Song To A Seagull. Glancing across this track listing and I wondered why that record was not the best debut album ever made - It could have had Circle Game, Both Sides Now, Chelsea Morning, Morning Morgantown and even Little Green that didn’t come out until Blue. 

Even more incredibly is Urge For Going. Now I know this song. Yet why Mary Black and Crosby Stills and Nash’s versions were known to me before Joni’s finally came out on the Hits compilation in the 90s is another great mystery of life. Hearing it here just opened up the wonder of her poetry and writing and utter genius.

 

I awoke today and found the frost perched on the town

It hovered in a frozen sky, then it gobbled summer down

When the sun turns traitor cold

And all trees are shivering in a naked row

I get the urge for going but I never seem to go

 

Now I know Tom Rush and Judy Collins has made some of Mitchell’s songs famous and maybe that caused her wanting to get other songs out but STILL!!

When I heard about this first instalment of this box set series I was a little unenthused. 1960s demos. How good could they be? Well it turns out that they are extraordinary in a whole plethora of ways.


MUMFORD & SONS - THE DELTA TOUR EP

Deltalive

Long before I ever heard they released anything my students ( I was a University Chaplain at the time) were raving about Mumford & Sons. Their live act is perhaps what they are actually about. It is about the happening and the joyous or time lamenting vibe created within a community. That some of the band started out doing worship music makes more sense of the experiential in the DNA.

It is also perhaps why they have been releasing live DVDs and CDs throughout their career.

This is a most delightful souvenir of their Delta Tour in 2019. In just six songs they have documented that trademark organic energy as well as their love for the communal; Gang Of Youths, Milk Carton Kids and Dermot Kennedy guesting.

As well as three guests, there are three covers. The last one With A Little Help From My Friends has the mighty Irish voice of Dermot Kennedy joining in and it is a perfect sign long for that community aspect of a Mumford gig.

Most intriguing is their attempt at Nine Inch Nails’ Hurt. Hurt became iconic as the last testament of Johnny Cash. They Mumfords do a. Great job at belting those two versions together starting out stark and then lifting to the loudest of raged out crescendos. 

The third cover is originally by Australian band The Middle East and the guests are another Australian band Gang Of Youths who were the support act on the Delta Tour. Blood is a mysterious lyric, poetic and meandering. There is a lot of death and it is that cathartic side of Mumford, blending lament and hope:

 

And you’ll find somebody you can blame

And you’ll follow the creek that runs out into the sea

And you’ll find the peace of the Lord

 

The other collaboration is on a vintage Mumford original. The Milk Carton Kids. Their lo-fi feel makes Awake My Soul into this meditative near liturgical piece. I want to play it in my daily devotions and seek the Spirit’s grace and imagination to live its proverbial wisdom:

 

“In these bodies we will live

And in these bodies we will die

Where you invest your love

You invest your life

 

Awake my soul”

 

Delta Tour EP is an utter treat. Side 2 with Hurt, Awake My Soul and With A Little Help From My Friends is one of the tastiest sides of a live EP you’ll hear in a long while.


STOCKI'S FAV 30 RECORDS OF 2020

Albums of 2020

30. PAUL WELLER - SUNSET

Weller keeps producing fine records and Sunset was another good one. It was almost his Michael Kiwanuka moment!

READ MY BLOG ON WELLER"S SERMON ON THE MOUNT MOMENT HERE

 

29. THE LOST BROTHERS - AFTER THE FIRE, AFTER THE RAIN

A modern Irish take on Simon and Garfunkel. If Paul and Arty had been born in Navan and Omagh 40 years later.

 

28. RAY LAMONTAGNE - MONOVISION

Lamontagne takes that voice of his and wraps it around a collection of songs heavily influenced by the early 70s. 

READ MY FULL REVIEW HERE

 

27. FONTAINES DC - A HERO'S DEATH

Like poetry meets punk with a  soul Dub depth. Ireland's finest band just now.

 

26. LUCINDA WILLIAMS - GOOD SOULS, BETTER ANGELS

Lucinda gets dark and gloomy and of course its suits her wonderfully.

READ MY FULL REVIEW HERE

 

25. YVONNE LYON - GROWING WILD

Glasgow's thoughtful songwriter throws out an amazing collection of songs about ageing with some quality collaborators.

READ MY FULL REVIEW HERE

 

24. GRETCHEN PETERS - THE NIGHT YOU WROTE THAT SONG; THE SONGS OF MICKEY NEWBURY

A covers album of Mickey Newbury songs. Crafted songs with masterful interpretations. Gretchen makes them her own.

 

23. DENISON WITMER - AMERICAN FOURSQUARE

Denison's first in a wee while. A long look at family life in middle class America in all that amazing musical space that Denison creates.

READ THE FULL REVIEW

 

22. STARLESS - EARTHBOUND

Paul McGeehan takes me back to all my favourite Glasgow artists of the 80s with a layered beauty of a record.

READ MY FULL REVIEW HERE

 

21. BILL FAY - COUNTLESS BRANCHES

Fay continues a later in life creative resurgence. The spiritual sage strips the instrumentation right back to get the wisdom out! 

READ MY FULL REVIEW HERE

 

20. THE PRESLEYS - EMBRACE

Brian Houston births something fresh in North Carolina. Embrace is an album of modern blues, edgy in sound and content. It all has a contemporary urban garage band sounding rock strut.

READ MY INTERVIEW WITH BRIAN HOUSTON ABOUT THE PRESLEYS

 

19 JOSHUA BURNSIDE - INTO THE DEPTHS OF HELL

Joshua is a unique Belfast songwriting talent, creatively intriguing, but I perhaps admire this record more than I love it.

 

18. ANTHONY TONER - GHOST NOTES

I heard Anthony cover Wings' song My Love at a 4 Corners Festival soundcheck. He reinterprets so well. His She Gives Me Religion was one of my songs of the year.

READ MY FULL REVIEW HERE

 

17. LUKA BLOOM - BITTERSWEET CRIMSON

Locating out west Luka  songs picked up the sense of place and spirituality of the late John O Donohue.

READ MY FULL REVIEW HERE

 

16. THE KILLERS - IMPLODING THE MIRAGE

Catch big stadium anthems with Brandon Flowers spirituality. What is not to like.

READ MY FULL REVIEW HERE

 

15. DAWES - GOOD LUCK WITH WHATEVER

I always feel Dawes should be higher up Stocki’s annual Favs… great songs with helpful introspection.

 

14. KATHLEEN EDWARDS - TOTAL FREEDOM

Edwards starts again after a few years off running a cafe and sounds like a Canadian Tom Petty.

READ MY FULL REVIEW HERE

 

13. ANDY THORNTON - AGES

Waited a decade for this and how I enjoyed it. That Thornton thoughtfulness and Cockburnesque sense of more than just songs. 

READ MY FULL REVIEW HERE

 

12. RORY BUTLER - WINDOW SHOPPING

Youthful Scottish songwriting that nods way back to John Martyn down through the conduit of Co. Down’s Iain Archer. 

READ MY FULL REVIEW HERE

 

11. BEKI HEMINGWAY - EARTH AND ASHPHALT

Somehow while based in Dundalk, Beki and Husband Randy Kerkman come up with the most cow punk Americana gem of a record.

READ MY FULL REVIEW HERE

 

10. AIRBORNE TOXIC EVENT - HOLYWOOD PARK

Articulate intelligent Californian indie rock Holywood Park is an accompanying record to main songwriter Mikel Jollet’s incredible memoir of the same name…

 

 9. OUR KRYPTON SON - MODERN RUINS

Ryan Vail’s production creates a lush carpet for the very finest collection of song... sublime. 

 

8. MALOJIAN - HUMM

Steve Scullion hooks up with Grandaddy’s Jason Lytle in a perfect match and it results in Malojian’s most accessible record to date.

 

7. BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN - LETTER TO YOU

Springsteen gathers the E Street Band for a rawkus live in the studio album about how the loss of dear friends can make you eyeball your own mortality.

 

6. PAUL MCCARTNEY - MCCARTNEY III

Macca breaks free of expectations and without trying creates his most intriguing record in many a long year. 

 

5. DEACON BLUE - CITY OF LOVE

Thirty years later Raintown has become a City of Love and this record is as strong in melody and depth as that debut.

 

4. ARBORIST - NORTHERN VIEW

Proud to say that this record comes out of my home town. Best album ever to do so. Taxi is my song of the year... under poetry as close to the land as Seamus Heaney Arborist use distortion in the ambience to evoke Northern Ireland’s bumped around space in a post Brexit world.

 

3. BOB DYLAN - ROUGH AND ROWDY WAYS

Dylan name drops almost anybody who is anybody across an album of lengthy rhyme... characteristically poetic this one is his most intriguing in many a long day.

 

2. SAMMY BRUE - CRASH TEST KID

A teenager out of Utah with a wider range of musical imagination than a veteran in the art. Mature songs with teenage freshness and vitality.

 

1. JASON ISBELL & THE 400 UNITS - REUNIONS

By now Isbell is the most dependable of all and Reunions is all his strengths on one record. The Americana guitar shimmy, lyrics of introspection about the soul and the heart, and the strongest songs of the year. 


STOCKI'S 5 FAV BOX SETS/REISSUES 2020

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5. LOU REED - NEW YORK (DELUXE EDITION)

So good to hear this again. My very favourite of all Lou Reed records. The riffs and the poetry are New York street cred. I was just a little disappointed that there were few extra tracks, just rough works and live tracks though an acoustic Busload Of Faith is very tasty! 

 

4. JOHN LENNON - GIMME SOME TRUTH

For what would have been Lennon's 80th Birthday, his son Sean who was 45 on the same day, remixes 36 of his dad's best songs. Similar to what Giles Martin has done to a few of the late Beatles' records, it really worked giving a real spark and detail to old favourites.

 

3. PAUL MCCARTNEY - FLAMING PIE

Now I always thought that Flaming Pie was a quality McCartney album from the late 90s BUT it took to the summer of 2020 and a remastered version for me to fall in love with it. To further convince me were the extra tracks and particularly the demos that give you the feeling that McCartney is actually in the room with you. 

READ MY FULL REVIEW HERE

 

2. JONI MITCHELL - Joni Mitchell Archives – Vol 1: The Early Years (1963-1967)

Never mind the excitement about what might come out in the future as part of this series, Volume 1 has shocked me with its quality version of pre Joni songs and her earliest work. Indeed The Urge For Going might have come my favourite Joni song. This is an abundance of goodness and intrigue.

 

1. TOM PETTY - WILDFLOWERS & ALL THE REST (Deluxe)

Unbelievable. A great album in its own right became a thing of legend when the tracks unforgivably left on the shelf to make the original album a single disc. As well as that the demos are brilliant, Petty unplugged and we get a Heartbreakers' Live Album of the Wildflowers project as well. LOVE! LOVE! LOVE!

READ MY FULL REVIEW HERE

 


STOCKI'S FAV EPs OF 2020

EP

 

5. MARTYN JOSEPH - WHEN WE GET THROUGH THIS

One of the first songs that I heard that was written about the Coronavirus pandemic, When We Get Through This was characteristically Martyn Joseph. Relevant, resilient with a hopeful eye on a better future. On the Ep he added his NHS song Nye and along with another new song and a few different versions and here was an EP for the time.

READ MY INTERVIEW WITH MARTYN ABOUT THE SONGS

 

4. DEACON BLUE - THE LOCK INN SESSION EP

Some stripped own reworks of one of my all time favourite songs as well as two from their 2020 album City Of Love were all great but an almost Gospel feel to Nick Lowe's What's So Funny 'Bout Peace and Love Understanding was my very favourite. 

READ MY REVIEW HERE

 

3. BEN GLOVER - WILD SWEET LILY

Ben Glover played live Shelter Sessions the entire way through the pandemic, mostly in Nashville but latterly in Glenarm. With no intentions to release music in 2020 he used the downtime productively. A co-write with Gretchen Peters Arguing With Ghosts is a beautiful song and the other three are of equal quality. My personal favourite was Fireflies.

READ MY REVIEW HERE

 

2. COWBOY JUNKIES - GHOSTS

I so loved All That Reckoning and an EP of 8 songs so close after was a bonus. These are cathartic , inspired by the loss of most of the band's mother. Comes in the most beautiful cover. 

READ MY REVIEW HERE

 

1. SNOW PATROL - THE FIRESIDE SESSIONS EP

Snow Patrol's Gary Lightbody was one of the first to respond to the Covid-19 lockdown by social media sessions from his apartment in LA. When he suggested writing songs with the fans I thought he was mad BUT here is the most amazing of results. EP of the year for its sheer audacity, Iain Archer's work on producing the songs, the remarkable quality of the songs and the money raised for Trussell Triust's work with the homeless. A plethora of good!

READ MY REVIEW HERE

 


STOCKI'S FAV LIVE RECORDS OF 2020

BEST LIVE ALBUMS 2020

 

5. WAR ON DRUGS - LIVE DRUGS

Lush layered near perfectionist beauty live... on purple vinyl

 

4. ELBOW - LIVE AT THE RITZ; An Acoustic Performance

I am often times prefer Guy Garvey's songs and voice to Elbow arrangements so hearing these in an intimate setting in acoustic version is an utter treat. 

 

3. MUMFORD & SONS - DELTA TOUR LIVE EP

A short 6 song document of Mumford's Delta Tour has a sensational side 2 where the band do Hurt, starting out as Mumfords-Do-Cash and end on a Mumfords-Do-Nine Inch Nails. It is awesome. There is then. meditative Awake My Soul with Milk Carton Kids before a bog vocal version of With A Little Help From My Friends. That live vibe that they built their career upon early on is perfectly captured.

 

2. SUZANNE VEGA - AN EVENING OF NEW YORK STORIES AND SONGS

This utter delight of a shimmy around the houses, streets and playgrounds of New York City in Vega's art had me fall in love with her work all over again. 

READ MY REVIEW HERE

 

1. NICK CAVE - IDIOT PRAYER (NICE CAVE ALONE AT ALEXANDRA PALACE)  

A silver lining of Coronavirus lockdown has to be Nick Cave in the Alexandra Palace with just a grand piano and some of his best songs. Utterly beautiful and for the time.

READ MY REVIEW HERE 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


PAUL MCCARTNEY - MCCARTNEY III

McCartney III_Paul McCartney

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!