After The Beatles broke up, it was quite necessary for the musicians who comprised the Fab Four to begin their own solo careers to show their musical personalities that had been repressed for quite some time. Paul McCartney had to start afresh after The Beatles had become more individualistic, even within the band, particularly with John Lennon who had desired increasingly to do so. Paul McCartney cemented the end of The Beatles in an interview published in The Daily Mirror newspaper basically advertising the release of this solo album in early 1970, although John Lennon was the one back in 1969 who stated that he was leaving The Beatles, which was the real beginning of the end of the group. The Beatles were effectively finished as a productive unit in late 1969, although there was the release of Let It Be back in 1970 which was recorded in early 1969, but shelved for some time due to the nature of the material on it. Let It Be had to be produced and mixed by Phil Spector to bring it to life. In any case, this is Paul McCartney’s first solo album and although it may not be his best, this is musical history. Let’s hear this album and see how it stands today.
The Lovely Linda is, of course, titled about Paul’s main love, Linda McCartney. It is a short introductory piece with bongos, acoustic guitar and nice singing by Paul. It is a good start to a solo album and sounds very different.
That Would Be Something begins with some loose electric guitars, thumping basslines and a sense that this is a very lo-fi sort of recording. Paul McCartney sings very nicely, and this piece sounds a little like Southern American Rock. It eventually launches into a pseudo-Syd Barrett piece with proto-beatboxing, which is different. It’s not a bad effort, although to be fair, isn’t as polished or produced as much as some of the later efforts by The Beatles. The singing is very good, though. Not a bad effort.
Valentine Day begins with some nice acoustic guitar work and interesting percussion, sounding very interesting. This is very much a jam-like piece that sounds not unlike some of the material on Abbey Road. It gets progressively faster and is short, being only under two minutes long. The fuzz guitar and frenetic acoustic guitar playing are quite different to listen to. Quirky tune.
Every Night begins with strummed acoustic guitar, brief drum hits and has Paul singing about enjoying life in a hedonistic way. It is a better piece than what came before and is really great sounding music nonetheless. Paul McCartney puts in a very decent effort and just sounds really cool. A nice, short and sweet effort that is well done. The harmonies on this song are infectious and show how much Paul was inspired by The Beach Boys. Good job.
Hot As Sun / Glasses begins with some subtle drumming, acoustic melodies and a very much summertime feel to the song. It is a lively and great piece of music to listen to and is a good intermission instrumental piece that has some different organ in it. Cheerful and light sounding, although by this point, it is obvious that Paul McCartney had an inconsistent direction at this point musically. The music quickly fades out, followed by some rather weird and unnecessary Psychedelic sounds, that are quite frankly, awful. A brief sample of Paul singing on piano follows, with the feeling that this is rather an unsatisfying track, before finishing.
Junk begins with lovely singing and more acoustic guitar, and this does sound really a much better effort than what came before. A slow ballad-like piece, this really does sound quite satisfying listening. Paul McCartney’s harmonies sound very natural and beautiful, and this is obviously a passionate and romantic piece of music that sounds great. Strange, but excellent sounding, a nice short effort for a song.
Man We Was Lonely begins with matching acoustic and electric guitar parts, with drums quickly following. It quickly launches into a mock Blues lyrical piece that sounds really great. Although Paul sings naturally here, it does sound as though he was inspired by some Southern USA style music on this record. A nice, pretty and gentle acoustic-based ballad that is refreshing. There is a clanging guitar solo with some slapback reverb on it, and Paul McCartney’s singing is just fantastic. A lively, pretty and singalong tune that looks back to the music of the past. It finishes with multitracked acoustic guitars that sound sweet. Nice tune.
Oo You begins with some loose drumming, catchy guitars and a jam based piece that sounds like an upbeat, outgoing tune that sounds really top. It is certainly positive and enjoyable, and is a good piece of music, although this is very much a rather odd jam, to be fair. A groove-based and danceable tune that really sounds top, this is fun listening, even if it is not the greatest recording by Paul McCartney. A very fun and different listening experience is here, and good for a quick song by Paul.
Momma Miss America begins with the quote, “Rock and Roll, springtime! Take one!” and quickly launches into an excellent sounding piece of piano-driven music that gets the imagination going. A great and upbeat tune with pounding drums and some semi-Psychedelic feel to it, this is a very good instrumental that sounds a lot like Sister Morphine by The Rolling Stones. It has a boogie-woogie, blues-based feel to it which is interesting. A lone rolling drumbeat then kickstarts the second half of the song, and Paul shows that he is an excellent musician and creator of fine music. The basslines throughout this song are especially prominent, and many bass guitarists should study the music of The Beatles and Paul McCartney to be inspired musically. This is a good instrumental that sounds more like the direction that Paul would have taken The Beatles in if things were better. Good effort anyway.
Teddy Boy begins with acoustic guitar strummed percussively and has Paul singing very beautifully over the top of that. A short, slow and storytelling tune that is really well done and listenable. This is one of the more consistent pieces from the album and is a short, sweet and natural sounding piece of beauty that is very easy to appreciate. A sweet ballad with some backing vocals that are super sweet. A genuinely good piece that is quick and easy listening.
Singalong Junk begins with some slow acoustic guitars that are nicely multitracked in both channels before some slow, sweet piano enters. The song is a short and sweet piece. Granted, even if this were intended to be singalong junk, it does very well. A mellotron organ enters the picture in the background, and there are no vocals on this one. This could have had vocals added to it, to be fair, despite the fact that this piece is very beautiful listening. A solid effort nonetheless, and worth hearing.
Maybe I’m Amazed begins with chugging piano, trippy organ and has some gorgeous singing that is top-notch by Paul. This is by far the best and most accessible piece of music from the album, which is rather disappointing for the album’s sake, but still sounds really great nonetheless. A loud and passionate set of electric guitars are on this song, and this definitely sounds like a hit single sort of piece. Catchy, wonderful and enjoyable music that is no doubt appealing, even today, is proof of the power of Paul McCartney as a musician. It builds up to a very enjoyable climax and one can easily forgive the fact that this is by far the best song on the album. A lively, upbeat and rocking number, this is definitely a must hear from the album. It fades out nicely.
Kreen-Akrore is the last song on the album and also the longest piece as well. It begins with subtle percussion from drums, and just sounds interesting and different in this sense. Soon enough, it bursts into an instrumental that is more like a drum solo than anything. Very unusual, but enjoyable nonetheless. Seemingly an unusual addition to a McCartney album, it bursts into a bunch of wordless harmonies that are pseudo-Psychedelic. The drumming and intermissions of instrumentation continue, and there is no doubt that this is rather odd listening. There is some intense breathing added too, which is very weird. Eventually the breathing concludes, and there are guitars aplenty to finish off this very weird and rather trashy instrumental. It ends with a softened cymbal crash.
This was a secret project, recorded and performed almost entirely by Paul McCartney himself as the time of The Beatles were drawing to a close. The music is a bit of a mixed bag and was obviously rushed for the purposes of an album release. Therefore, it is not an outright classic, although it is better than many give it credit for being what it is. All the same, it is a good overall album that could have been worked on a bit better if more time was available for Paul McCartney to do so. Nonetheless, The Beatles were over, and Paul barely looked back.
Just like a box of chocolates.
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