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I'm a HUGE Macca fan (I think my Beatles fan dad may be the reason Smiler and it's wonderful to hear so many positive things said about his new album. That's quite unusual - I'm a fan of his solo stuff, that's the music I grew up listening to - but I'm aware of his uneven output and occasionally lazy attitude to his own music. I haven't heard the album yet, but I will very soon.
And I'm double happy to read about it here, and I'm triple happy that my top two artists are releasing albums so close to each other! Big Grin
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Originally posted by privateuniverse:
quote:
Originally posted by Craberlocker:
If you thought Chaos And Creation was great you'll really enjoy his latest effort.


As much as I really liked some of the more recent albums like Driving Rain and Flaming Pie, I was really disapointed with Chaos & Creation. Does the new one continue on in the same pattern as Chaos?


This is a mega album in my books. There is sheer brilliance on it. Feet in the clouds, Ever Present Past, Vintage clothes and Mr. Bellamy are the standout tracks so far but they are all quite exceptional.
Ok, now I really like it too :-)
I should not give my opnion about an album before I listened to it 10 times. It's always the same with me. Listening to an album for the first time I'm always really disappointed. Thinking the artist has lost it. After some time it starts growing on me :-)

Also love the instrumental bonus tracks on the deluxe version.
Quote about Memory Almost Full from the BBC News website the other day:

quote:
Fans have spotted that title is an anagram of FOR MY SOULMATE LLM - the initials of his late wife, Linda Louise McCartney.

The singer, who is in the process of divorcing his second wife, Heather Mills McCartney, has not commented on the title.


Crafty old devil Smiler

I've only heard a few tracks from it, and I'm not convinced by it yet. I'm sort of hesitating as I want to like it but I've just not been bowled over it by it yet, same thing I'm hearing from other fans.
quote:
Fans have spotted that title is an anagram of FOR MY SOULMATE LLM - the initials of his late wife, Linda Louise McCartney.

The singer, who is in the process of divorcing his second wife, Heather Mills McCartney, has not commented on the title.


I wouldn't put too much store in anagrams - for example, it's also an anagram of Smarmy Mullet Fool, Smell My Moral Tofu, or even Farty Loo Smell, Mum...
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Originally posted by Anselm:
ack to the music, I'm surprised at Dance Tonight getting so much attention, it leaves me cold.

I've listened to Memory Almost Full a fair few times now, and Dance Tonight hasn't even registered with me.

I find the one-two punch of House of Wax/Feet in the Clouds to be the best stuff on this album. Also really liking Vintage Clothes and See Your Sunshine.

(Really liking the whole thing overall though Smiler )
Yet again McCartney manages to stymie an excellent album with a dreadful choice of single.

Dance Tonight is fun. It's a pleasant little toe tapper along the lines of Great Day from Flaming Pie. But the lead track off his new album? Don't be ridiculous.

This album has some excellent moments (my favourites being Ever Present Past, Mr Bellamy - a lost Beatles classic if ever I heard one - and House of Wax - the best song Guns n Roses never wrote). But I just can't get into See Your Sunshine and Gratitude at all. The rest are all good.
I really like this. I pre ordered it as a download, & i've been really enjoying some decent melodies for a change, from the man who oozes melodies.

Ever Present Past, & See Your Sunshine i've found most enjoyable, & Only Mama Knows seems to be very semi-autobiographical. Must admit that i wasn't really expecting anything from Sir Mac, but maybe that's why i like it so much. Lets face it, he only does music as a hoby now, so he doesn't have to prove anthing to anybody, & he doesn't need the money. Ok, i know it's not as good as McCartney II, which is a controversial choice of Macca's Best Of ouvre, i admit, but any album that mentions polar bears is bound to be a winner. The Arctic Monkey's could learn much from this.

But is it as good as Tug Of War?
I've been listening to this for the last week or so now. I'm really enjoying it, his best work in a little while, probably since Flaming Pie. I wasn't a huge fan of Chaos and Creation. While having some good tracks, I felt everything was a little simplified on that album.

Memory Almost Full on the other hand sees McCartney combine his classic rock signature with some moody, darker moments that come up when you least expect them. Plus, it has a rocker to conclude the album with, though this could have been a minute or two longer. I'm really finding more and more to admire about this album the more I listen to it.

For those who felt that Chaos and Creation could have been more upbeat, this is a pretty good answer to that request. The slower moments are tender and meticulously handled ("You tell me", "Feet in the clouds", "The end of the end"), the rock songs influence a smile ("Only mamma knows", "That was me" and "Nod your head"). Meanwhile some of his risks tend to pay off without coming accross as tasteless or Paul trying to re-invent himself or become an artist he couldn't possibly be ("Vintage clothes", "House of Wax" and the b-side included with the limited edition, "222").

The overall theme for the record seems to be Paul looking back over his past and moving forward at the same time, an intention not totally different to Chaos and Creation.
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Originally posted by Paul H:
Is it as good as Tug of War? Let me see now... it doesn't have Ebony and Ivory on it... yep, I think so!


Yes, it's difficult to get your head around the "piano as metaphore for world harmony" concept in this song. It does beg the question, where are the grey keys then, & have piano's always been operating under apartheid all this time? Why didn't the UN step in? Why did it take a blind musician to point this out? You could say it was a case of the blind leading the erm, end of piano apartheid. Still, the whole saccharine project could have been averted by moving the piano out of the studio to begin with. & incidentally, it was voted the 10th worst song of all time by Blender Magazine apparently.

Bring on the grey piano. Grey is the new beige.
Just heard 'Memory Almost Full' in full, after hearing bits of songs here and there for the past month. Having been rather reluctant to give it any of my time, I can now say I think this is his best album in over thirty years. Some great tunes, vocals and production (though the compression, EQ and mastering sucks).

As a colleague of mine pointed out recently, it's probably his most consistent solo album ever.

Only last week I told someone I didn't need to hear Macca's voice again. I stopped blindly buying his output after 'Driving Rain', thinking I should have ceased giving him my money many years earlier. So, I still haven't heard 'Chaos & Creation in the Backyard'. But I'll be happily playing this new one a few more times - although there's still the odd moment I find "very very very very hard" to listen to without grimacing.
quote:
Originally posted by Seany.:
I really like this. I pre ordered it as a download, & i've been really enjoying some decent melodies for a change, from the man who oozes melodies.

Ever Present Past, & See Your Sunshine i've found most enjoyable, & Only Mama Knows seems to be very semi-autobiographical. Must admit that i wasn't really expecting anything from Sir Mac, but maybe that's why i like it so much. Lets face it, he only does music as a hoby now, so he doesn't have to prove anthing to anybody, & he doesn't need the money. Ok, i know it's not as good as McCartney II, which is a controversial choice of Macca's Best Of ouvre, i admit, but any album that mentions polar bears is bound to be a winner.

The Arctic Monkey's could learn much from this.

But is it as good as Tug Of War?



Please explain what Arctic Monkeys could learn?
To preface my explanation with the caveat that it is only my opinion (although there are many critics who have ploughed similar furrows), and that i didn't grow up in Sheffield, nor spend my teenage years there, dreaming of getting out of that city, and taking into consideration my ageist prejudices, i offer the following by way of explanation, Steve...

It would be nice to think that a democratized music industry would mean the kids are tossing up alternatives to what they're already getting, but the Arctic Monkeys are, at their heart, the same sort of meat'n'potatoes guitar rock that has dominated the UK since the emergence of the Strokes, if not Oasis. They're a band that neatly sums up what's already selling, and in a relatively condensed media market the group was probably always going to be a hit; what's changed is that they were pegged quickly, mainlined to their target market and the UK mainstream press and radio for six months, then called an "organic" success story. And context still matters: When Oasis or the Strokes rolled into town, they were breaths of fresh air, antidotes to a lack of swagger or hooks or artists who wanted and deserved to be rock stars; Arctic Monkeys are yet another in a string of buzzsaw guitar bands with Northern accents.

What's meant to be different about them are sometimes keenly expressive lyrics and that irresistible backstory. The band's more starry-eyed backers compare their hardscrabble tales to those of predecessors such as the Specials, Smiths, Pulp, and the Streets. But wringing lyrics from the everyday or articulating the dissatisfaction of many is risky and often a difficult business and, unlike those listed above, the Monkeys aren't so much spinning deft tales of everyday and common place anxiety as just "complaining" about their first steps into nightlife, run-ins with bouncers, cops, observations of prostitution, and schoolmates. They have more in commom with the UK's emo bands (My Chemical Romance, Muse), painting diaristic portraits of small-town and suburban life for teens in a country where fundamentalism is allegiance to a soccer club rather than religion. But enough about Man. U.

While first steps into nightlife, run-ins with bouncers, cops, and schoolmates, should be the worries in their lives, and of their peers they're among the best at addressing them. Almost everything that's appealing about the Arctic Monkeys is down to singer Alex Turner, who possesses a gritty voice that gets increasingly appealing the more he allows it to stretch and wander. On sharp, observational, and detail-heavy songs such as, Saturday Night and Sunday Morning and tracks like the "Red Lights Indicate Doors Are Secure", "Mardy Bum", and "Riot Van" the band justifies taking their album name from the kitchen-sink drama of life in a Northern town, although without the lyrical wit of Patric Morrissey, or the delightful and melodic sophistication of Johnny Marr. Outside of naming their record, when the band stumbles, it's typically when they're fumbling around with women ("Dancing Shoes", "Still Take You Home") or complaining about the onset of fame (the dreadful "Perhaps Vampires Is a Bit Strong But..."). But being as they were when pegged as the "next big thing", and a band that will "change your life", barely 17, only life experience cold mature them beyond their youthful observations of life as they know it. A maturity which fame may have "organically" robbed them from experiencing on their previous tragectory.

The singles are a mixed bag as well. The Five Minutes With... EP's "Fake Tales of San Francisco" is a witty call to arms, a plea for bands that say something about their lives, but fail to reach the concise observational power of songs like "William, It Was Really Nothing", by The Smiths, a band cited by critics as a "template" for the current crop of "Indie Band", but are in reality, poles apart. Take the Arctic's song, "From the Ritz to the Rubble"'s whining, which almost makes you want to side with the bouncers. Of the Monkeys' starmaking tracks, neither sounds like a No. 1, let alone the first sounds from a burgeoning "next big thing", or ""life changin" sensation: "I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor" grates every other time I listen to it; better is the offbeat "When the Sun Goes Down", the only track here that's three-dimensional structurally as well as lyrically. Should the band release album closer "A Certain Romance" as its next single, the hit/miss ratio will be greatly improved. A long sigh about living among chavs , "Romance" finds the Monkeys moving between bloody-knuckled and wistful as they paint a picture of boredom breeding violence, of being aware of the faults and faultlines in their environment but feeling too powerless or hemmed in by loyalty to raise a fuss. It's a neat summation of both the band's modus operundi, and a teenage life characterized by existential drift and geographic claustrophobia.

To summise, the Arctics are about teenage life, and a pretty specific type of teenage life at that. The Guardian

And in the end then this is about teenage life-- and a pretty specific type of teenage life at that. NME editor Conor McNicholas told last year that "there's a big sofa supermarket by Doncaster train station. I always look at it and think someone's got a Saturday job there, they're 17, they're stuck in Doncaster and they ****ing hate it-- that's the person we're publishing for." I'd guess that to a disaffected, chavbaiting 17-year-old from Doncaster (or Rotherham, or Hull...) this is the perfect soundtrack to moving loveseats around a stock room. Fittingly then the NME awarded this album a 10/10. To the rest of us, however, the album is at times charming, oddly affecting, and certainly promising but understandably something less than life changing.

What tyrany do you want to down, Steve? Big Grin

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