Paul McCartney, Memory Almost Full (Hear Music, 2007)

While Paul McCartney's legacy and vital contributions to the music of the rock era are utterly indisputable, his recent musical offerings have mostly fallen through the cracks. In the case of his 1995 CD Chaos and Creation in the Backyard, this was particularly unfortunate. Paul didn't try to impress anybody but himself and just had fun with the music instead, and the result was one of his two or three strongest post-Beatles efforts. With his new CD Memory Almost Full, Paul is making much more of an effort to make another dent in the charts, aiming for more accessibility with the music and promoting the album more aggressively than he's promoted anything in quite some time. Regrettably, much of the new album lacks any genuine inspiration.

In many of the songs on Memory Almost Full, Paul reflects either on the distant past or on his shrinking future. In "Ever Present Past," Paul wonders where the time went. Paul continues to wax nostalgic in the three-song medley (yes, he's already been there and done that) of "Vintage Clothes," "That Was Me," and "Feet In The Clouds" but the psychedelia of the first part, the funk of the second part, and the synthesized orchestration and vocals in the third part just sound forced. He gets very sentimental in the penultimate song "The End of the End," reflecting on how he'd like his passing to be acknowledged when the time comes. I'm not sure the sentiments he expresses in this song are particularly profound, but mortality remains a subject few performers address, so he at least deserves some credit for trying.

Otherwise, nothing in Memory Almost Full really struck me as being noteworthy. It sounds like Paul is trying too hard to get people's attention, when he really has no need to.

Overall grade: C+

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