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Blog: Record Review Time

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I had a bit of a MOMENT on the tube in to work this morning, when the new Paul McCartney album went "KLICK!" in my BRANE and I thought "AHA! I see! This is GRATE!" It's taken me a little while to GET it i must say - as a PROPER FAN i, of course, bought it the day it came out, and have listened to it on and off, but today was the first time it SLOTTED IN and made me really REALLY like it.

I know some people have compared it LESS FAVOURABLY to "Chaos & Creation" as it is more WINGS-Y (these people include The Strings On My Hofner Violin Bass, who REALLY liked that particular album) but for me that is one of the REALLY GOOD things about it. I think Wings were GRATE - OK, maybe not so much in the latter half of their career, but the first few years were GRATE - "Venus & Mars", "Red Rose Speedway" and obviously "Band On The Run", these are BLOODY FANTASTIC. As i may well have said before (and almost certainly WILL if you have been in a pub with me and EVEN MENTIONED Wings) they ALL sound like Macca going "WAHEY! I am the famous Paul McCartney and I am going to do WHAT THE HECK I LIKE, and LO! It will be ACE!"

After those records it seems TO ME that he started worrying too much about what people WANTED from him, and the GREAT WOBBLY YEARS commenced, with a GRATE record every few (er... or more) years, like "Tug Of War", "Flowers In The Dirt" and "Flaming Pie" but ALWAYS followed by DISAPPOINTING and/or POO records where EITHER he's trying to sound NOW, OR where he can't be arsed at ALL - I am thinking particularly of "Off The Ground" here, which is RUBBISH.

So yes, I was rather expecting "Memory Almost Full" to follow in that grand tradition, HENCE my Pleasure and Going ON A Bit about it now that it seems NOT to be. I really like it because it's a continuation of the last one in the WORDS (and his words are OFTEN dead good, him like NATURE POET) and THEMES of Getting On A Bit and the Looking Back, but combined with all the INVENTION and KRAZY NOISES of his much earlier stuff. It's ACE - I especially like way it is full of WHISTLING. WHISTLING ROCKS!

And while we're at the criticial coal face - ANOTHER band of (not quite so) OLD who have put out a REALLY GRATE record much to my surprise (LINKING) is The Manic Street Preachers. Bloody HECK, "Send Away The Tigers" is FANTASTIC! I have been listening to it A LOT, VERY LOUD INDEED. It's packed with TUNES and GUITAR SOLOS and SHOUTING and ORCHESTRAS and ... er... a bass solo. I especially LOVE the way they're back in the Too Many Words, In Theory, To Fit In A Line BUT It Really Works GENRE and making it REALLY work (except maybe that "Good God I feel like a liberal" bit, which perhaps doesn't so much, but is THE ONLY BIT THAT DOESN'T). Best of ALL, it is less than 40 minutes long, so once it's finished you can listen to it ALL OVER AGAIN, REALLY QUICKLY!

These, then, are my RECORD REVIEWS: MATURE ARTISTES a speciality!

posted 25/6/2007 by MJ Hibbett

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