Memory Almost Full
Paul McCartney - vocals, guitar
Site visitor reviews
Erika (July 14, 2007)
I was surprised at how good this album was! I was expecting it to be full of sad, dreary songs, considering the whole nasty divorce thing, but it\'s actually much happier than \"Chaos & Creation\" and almost as good. My favorite songs on \"Memory Almost Full\" are \"Mr Bellamy,\" \"Only Mama Knows,\" and \"That Was Me.\"
Olly (July 9, 2007)
Half of it is good, half is bad, go figure it in yourself...
Bruce Beatlefan (June 25, 2007)
A couple weeks ago I was privileged to enjoy a visit from a dear old friend of over forty years (never mind that I have never actually MET this \'dear old friend\'--he is practically a member of my family). Due to some unhappy events in the life of this friend over the past couple years, I anticipated this visit to be tense and a little caustic (perhaps in the spirit of songs like \"For No One\" or \"Dear Friend\" or \"Vanity Fair\"). I anticipated that this visit would involve the pensive introspection of his last visit (Chaos and Creation in the Backyard). I should have learned long ago to NEVER anticipate what I will hear from the changeling known as Sir Paul McCartney.
He came dancing through my front door holding a mandolin and singing a ridiculous little upbeat ditty called \"Everybody Dance Tonight\". He dismissed the embarrassment/shame of his gossip-fodder divorce as \'just something that happened\' in the song \"Ever Present Past\". He blew away the \'mature acoustic melody-maker\' posture of his past few albums with his hardest rocking since Run Devil Run (\"Only Mama Knows\", \"House of Wax\", \"Nod Your Head\"). In a song entitled \"Gratitude\" he sounds as angry and sarcastic as he has ever been since \"Too Many People\". In short, this album was one surprise after another from beginning to end.
Being full of surprises doesn\'t necessarily mean that an album is good. In fact, I\'m inclined to the opinion that this is NOT one of Paul McCartney\'s better albums, evaluating purely musically. A few songs are dismissable (but the songs that I dismiss are often singled out for praise by other reviewers). Two songs impress me as being among his all-time classics: \"That Was Me\" and \"House of Wax\" (although Chaos and Creation seems overall a consistently better album, no song would I single out in this manner). But the overriding sense of this album is his connectedness with his past and, more important to me, his fans. Beginning with the Driving Rain CD he seems to bare his soul in a deep mature level that makes him feel like a friend (where before he was just an icon). Although Memory Almost Full may not be his best music, I never felt more like Paul McCartney came into my living room and let his hair down. I\'m giving this album a four-star rating mostly for this reason. Sometimes I feel like I should go back and change all my Paul McCartney ratings to five stars (that\'s a real stretch for McCartney II), just for the sheer amazement of his artistic career, I mean, who the freak am I to find flaws in his work?
Lafe Purcell (June 6, 2007)
We track our own mortality through our heroes. As they age and pass away, we become more and more acutely aware of the fact that we too are aging.
I\'m sure there are younger fans of McCartney out there as well, but my guess is that his largest and loyalist fan base is comprised largely of aging Baby Boomers. I am one of them.
When I listen to a McCartney album, I long for another \"My Love\" or \"With a Little Luck\" or some other work which showed Paul as the most melodically gifted of the former Beatles. It\'s been a long while since I\'ve had this longing satisfied.
Memory Almost Full is a well-crafted album by an experienced songwriter who knows the fundamentals of songwriting. At times, it surprises with truly excellent riffs and chord progressions. That\'s the best part of the album. The worst part (and please remember that this is only one person\'s opinion and could be just as wrong as the opinion of someone who wants to declare this the best album since Abbey Road) is the overall lack of melodiousness. The album just seems so well-crafted and technically put together, but lacks (again, to me), melody. This just truly shocked me since the knock against McCartney during much of his long and mostly successful career has been that his melodies were too catchy and it was the lyrics which were weak (an assessment I thought was unfair. At worst, his albums were uneven affairs which generally contained moments of absolute brilliance coupled with truly cringe-worthy interludes. For every undiscovered \"C Moon\", there was a too-well-known \"Morse Moose & The Grey Goose.\" For every solid hit like \"Silly Love Songs\", there\'d be a miscue like \"London Town\" - a song which came so close to greatness only to be ruined by the artistic decision to forego use of the flute in favor of Paul warbling \"doo doo doo doo\").
At any rate, Memory Almost Full isn\'t a horrible album and I suppose I\'ll learn to like, if not entirely love, it\'s better moments (of which many seem to be thinking is the clever \"Mr. Bellamy\"). To me, it\'s better than Chaos & Creation In The Backyard. At the end of the day though, I guess the good things about the album are paradoxically the things that bother and disappoint me most. I want to believe that Paul can still write that perfect song with the perfect hook. I want to believe he can show all the people who say he\'s too old or too out of touch that they\'re wrong. He comes so painfully close on this album - it\'s like seeing somebody press themselves up against a window pane while trying to make it through to the other side.
So close, but just not quite where I wish he could be. (Sorry for what is sure to be perceived as an \"anti-McCartney\" post by those of you who refuse to acknowledge any flaws in his many talents. I\'m not anti-McCartney. If I were, I don\'t think I\'d still be buying his records. I guess I want what is unrealistic to want. I want the \"old young Paul\" back so that I can experience the same thrills I got when listening to Venus & Mars, Band on the Run or even Tug of War, again).
Bobber (June 5, 2007)
Back to the roots of Wings, a group that is getting a bit more appreciation these days. Paul is trying to get his finger on his own kind of music if you catch my drift. A pity that silly things like Dance Tonight are his cup of tea as well. Though Mr Bellamy is random regarded as the album\'s highlight, I usually skip it. But songs like Only Mama Knows, Feet In The Clouds and House Of Wax make it a great piece of work.
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