Thursday, April 12, 2007

I'm Not After Any Special Treatment, But I Wouldn't Mind a Hand

I'm not sure why I'm engaging in the Paul McCartney rumor mill. Trouble I tell you, nothing but trouble. Now it seems there are dueling tracklists, both complete with descriptions of the songs. Sigh. Here's the latest:

1. “Everybody Gonna Dance Around Tonight” (title?) - Short album opener. Instrumentation includes ukelele (some similarities to Harrison’s “Any Road”), kick drum (lockstep, martial beat) and whistling. Similar to “We’re Open Tonight” in sentiment, the lyric is a trifle but track is brief/fun enough.

2. “My Everpresent Past” (title?) - Musically quirky (McCartney II fans will love this one), hooky and clever with great lyrics, addictive robotic rhythm, nifty distorted guitar riffs and terrific double-tracked vocals. Fully realized top-drawer Macca Pop in every respect. Opening line: “I’ve got too much on my plate - I’ve got no time to be a decent lover”. A+

3. “Wanna See Your Sunshine” (title?) Creative, commercial pop love song with wonderful bass playing. Echoes of Linda in the background vocal department (as on “Run Devil Run”, the vocal ghost of Linda shows up repeatedly throughout the album, as least to my ears). Middle section features a neat tempo change and fastly sung lyric. Romantic. Accapella ending.

4. “Only Mama Knows” (title?) Orgasmically great Power Pop! Back To The Egg-esque energy! Great vocal! Junior’s Farm-esque gutbucket feel, quirky lyric, lots of Linda/Denny/Wings guitar energy. My early favorite, rocks like a bitch!

5. “You Tell Me” - Stunning, heartfelt, bittersweet non-silly, post-love song, Acoustic based with great confessional lyric (ala “Dear Friend”) and astounding, emotional vocal. Very Wings - echoes of Denny and Linda abound. “When was that summer of a dozen words” (let the Heather/divorce lyric hunting begin).

6. “Mr. Bellamy” (title?) - I can’t believe how great this track is; the odd, glorious musical structure and chord changes will surprise you at every turn. An A Cappella breakdown to die for. VERY early 10CC (think “Sheet Music”), with goofy vocal interjections (if you are familiar with 10CC’s “The Worst Band in The World” you’re halfway there).

7. “Gratitude” - Pop/gospel w/shouty, “Oh, Darling” vocal. Nice tune and interesting arrangement but overemoting vocal ruins it for me. Possible grower.

8. “Vintage Clothes” (title?) - not positive but I think this is the first track of the album-ending Medley, ala RRSpeedway/ARoad. Lyrically a modern-day “Dedicated Follower of Fashion”-a tongue in cheek (I think) sendup/lampooning of modern clothing/fashion trends. Possibly inspired by daughter/clothing designer Stella? Strong lyric, ultrahooky tune and great arrangement, w/Beatlesque swirly backwards mellotrons and highly compressed tack piano (the opening piano riff is almost identical to Fleetwood Mac’s “Say You Love Me”). Perfect pop.

9. “That Was Me” (title?) Backwards drum loop, rockabilly guitar riffs on acoustic, with great dissonant piano stabs, ala “I Want To Tell You”. Autobiographical lyric speaks of/chronicles events in Paul’s childhood, The Cavern Club, success…

10. “Very Hard” (title?) - Top track, features Brian Wilsonesque vocal breakdown section (with vocodor!) and another strong autobiographical lyric.

11. “Hidden In The Yard” - moody, forboding, cinematic - think a darker “Beware My Love”. Great lyric/arrangement, unexpected chord changes from heaven, screaming guitar solos and one of Paul’s best vocals ever.

12. “The End Of The End” - touching, confessional album closer, unlike anything that Paul has recorded. The lyric speaks to how he would like to be remembered/celebrated after he’s gone. A heavy lyric tempered by upbeat, song-closing whistling coda (echoing whistling on opening track).

13. “Nod your Head” (title?) - Silly, brief album closer, ala “Boil Crisis”. Probably (hopefully) a bonus/hidden track. Musically similar to the also-hidden instrumental track that closes Chaos (sounds like the same session).
Either some people are awfully creative wishful thinkers or simply have an inside track. Any way you look at it, though, it's great that a buzz is growing. I just hope the music meets the buzz.

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