Paul McCartney – Memory Almost Full (2007)

Let’s get the Beatles name-dropping out of the way: Paul McCartney was in the Beatles. The Beatles were influential, and – depending on who you ask – possibly
one of the (if not the) most important band of the past 50 years. That said, the four members never really escaped the shadow of the band with their solo careers. George Harrison’s solo releases were generally well-regarded, but the rest are a mixed bag: John Lennon was the epitome of this, and Ringo – poor Ringo – has released albums that veered wildly between insanely awesome and insanely bad. And then there’s Paul.

Memory Almost Full is McCartney’s umpteenth post-Beatles release; some have been good, some haven’t. But honestly, there hasn’t been a great one in years. The guy can write great songs, though. Memory Almost Full has some solid songs (“Dance Tonight,” “Gratitude”), but the bulk of the tracks sound like, oh, something mildly distracting that plays over the end credits to a romantic comedy. And the lyrics are nostalgia-soaked, so much so that I was left with the impression that Sir Paul spends every waking hour pining away for the days of yore.

This doesn’t jive with the breezy, upbeat nature of the music. Paul plays all of the instruments, and sounds like he’s having great fun doing so. But that’s one of the album’s few saving graces. Again, nothing is bad here; but nothing really stands out. Much of my favorite music is “average” compared to what some critics love, but at least I can remember the songs. I wish I could say the same for the stuff on Memory Almost Full.

-Jason Panella

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2 Responses to “Paul McCartney – Memory Almost Full (2007)”

  1. dave Says:

    yes, i would agree that lennon’s solo output is a “mixed bag”, however his solo work far exceeds mccartney’s in terms of quality. the solo works of all members exhibit what each contributed to the Beatles: john and george provided the most, paul wrote a few great tunes, and ringo is ringo.paul can write a gorgeous melody, but that doesn’t always make for good songwriting. paul needed john far more than the opposite. john may have recorded his primal scream therapy, and his wife was a screeching banshee, but neither of them were in anyway responsible for the crapfest known as Wings.

  2. Jason Says:

    I actually agree, Dave; I think I was saying the same thing. Overall I like Lennon’s solo stuff much more than McCartney’s; my single favorite post-Beatles track has to be Ringo’s “Photograph,” schmaltzy or not.

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