Only Paul McCartney can sit in his house and write an album worthy of release. As with his previous albums, Paul writes as a reflection of his present life and ‘McCartney 3’ continues this approach. ‘McCartney 3’ is Paul McCartney’s third release of his anthology after ‘McCartney 1’ (released 1970) and ‘McCartney 2’ (released 1980), as well as being the second Beatles related release over Christmas 2020. ‘McCartney 1’s album previewed Paul holding a young Mary McCartney, his daughter, which poetically links with ‘McCartney 3’ in which the album photography was taken by Mary herself.
Written in isolation (due to the COVID-19 pandemic), Paul after a day at the studio would demo his progress to Mary McCartney each evening.The tracks in ‘McCartney 3’ have a retro feel to them and therefore feel more Paul McCartney than his last album. The contemporary ‘Egypt Station’ album (released 2018), I feel Paul tried too hard to be relevant as a 76 year old (at the time of the album’s release) in a modern pop world.
Pauls writing and accompanying music are fantastic on ‘McCartney 3’ with a lot of great tracks, such as the nod-and-wink track ‘Lavatory Lil’ which I feel is the closest we get to self-confession from Paul. It could be said that musically and lyrically, ‘Lavatory Lil’ derives inspiration from ‘Lovely Rita’ from the Beatles album ‘Sgt Pepper Lonely Hearts Clubs Band’. Unfortunately I do have to question as to whether Pauls’ voice is strong enough to carry the album (aged 78 at time of album release), and maybe this is the time for Paul to write music and lyrics for other artists?
Did I personally want ‘McCartney 3’ as the third instalment of his three-part anthology? The answer is no…although ‘McCartney 3’ is a good album I would have preferred for it to become part of his catalogue under a different title, and for his anthology to be autobiographical reflecting on his life.
Long Tailed Winter Bird:
This track reminds me of an Indian Raga song and to be honest would fit perfectly on a George Harrison album. Hypnotic in style and containing only three lines repeated, it’s a refreshing and interesting way to start the album.
Find My Way:
This track reminds me of the song ‘Lonely Boy’ (album ‘Flaming Pie’) with the double tracked McCartney voice and style of the music. A contemporary take on the 60s style and is a very strong track on the album.
McCartney sings “here come the pretty boys, they’re gonna set the world on fire”, which you have to wonder if this is a nod to his old band mates; John, George and Ringo. Nice acoustic and bass work on this track.
Woman and Wives:
Led by piano, you can imagine a preacher in a pulpit using these words as advice. It’s a strange song; melancholy in music but optimistic in verse.
As described above, and my favourite track on the album. This could also be described as Paul McCartney’s version of ‘How do you Sleep?’ by John Lennon due to viciousness of the song.
A nice rocking track in the style of the ‘Queens of the Stones Age’ music. Unusually Paul’s vocals are buried at the back of the mix, which helps drive the music forward. One of the tracks that suits Pauls voice the most on this album.
Deep Deep Feeling:
The start of this track sounds like a looped jazz sample and creates a laid back sound. It is interesting how Paul double tracks his own voice to build upon harmonies and creates emotion through the guitar solos of the song.
The Kiss of Venus:
A sweet little track which has a similar style to ‘Blackbird’ (from ‘The Beatles’ White Album). Paul and an acoustic guitar, what more could you ask for?
Seize the Day:
I wonder if this is a message from Paul to all of us, during the current pandemic, to seize the day when we can. Nice song but feels like a list of items rather than song lyrics.
This song is a bit more ‘Netflix-and-chill’ than his previous love songs about holding hands and running in the rain. Nice song with a cool slick vibe. McCartney at his most direct
Winter Bird/When the Winter Comes:
A mash up of songs and very ‘Mull of Kintyre’ (Wings, 1977) in its autobiographical nature. A nice track stripped back and a perfect bookend to the start of the album.