Sunday, February 26, 2012

Sir Paul

from Rolling Stone Magazine
Sir Paul in concert 2011
I was excited to see Sir Paul on the cover of Rolling Stone this week. I went straight to the article and plowed in. He is recording a rockin' album to follow up this year's 'Kisses on the Bottom.' Sir Paul is 70 this year! And that's why he says that he's going right back to rockin'. I saw him this summer and it was an amazing three hour show on a very hot summer night. He played all of my favorite Beatle and Wings songs, and left some of his lesser known solo work at the turnstile. Magic.

Yeah but ... ooh, I don't know about Kisses on the Bottom.  I was really looking forward to listening to it, and knew that it would be my 'album' of the moment. I have skipped the whole Rod Stewart thing with the standards ... there's something perverse about him singing those songs ... especially the arrangements. It did not work for me. He, Rod, should have retired or gone the Robert Plant route. Reinvent himself (there goes that Madonna creeping in again!)

But Paul sang this genre as a Beatle ... 'When I'm 64,' 'She's Leaving Home,' 'Eleanor Rigby' ... these are like Frank or Bing or Nat. When I first listened to Kisses on the Bottom, I thought, oh maybe I'm hearing something wrong here ... these songs seem so ... flat. So I listened again. Flat. Listened again .... really flat. Oh Paul, what have you done? I know that it is being reviewed really well, and I must say the music is delightful and Diane Krall is excellent, but Paul's singing ... boring. He isn't his usual bubbly self, and maybe the hushed tone is meant to be ... sexy?! I don't know ... it's not cool.

Then I read the Rolling Stone article. The read was fine, and you may think that the quote I include above is meant as a testament to what I think is right about Paul, but it isn't that. When I got to the end and he talked about how 'Yesterday' came to him in a dream, and he didn't rule out God's role in it. But then the journalist said, "McCartney always seemed to be the least spiritually inclined Beatle ... There's no "My Sweet Lord" in his repertoire- not even and "Across the Universe." I wondered about whether God really is in his vernacular.

That's it. It isn't just about being 'cool.' Cool has to be supported with something more ... soul. A belief in more than dreams. Paul admits in the article that he's done with weed (pot), and I wonder if he isn't still in the fog of that ...his pronouncement is stoner-like. I want more from him. I expect more from him. And though 'Obladi Oblada' is a great ditty, it isn't 'Happiness is a Warm Gun." Paul isn't worried about anything ... that's why he looks so good at 70. Or maybe he looks so good because he's been stoned for so long ... mellow. Mellow doesn't draw lines on one's face or character, I suppose.

Paul isn't ready to sing the standards. He's got to live more. Grab it and all that it means to its core and heights, and then maybe he can do it.

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