Dear Lady Doom,
Wow. What a great question.
First off, a few words about Sir Paul. He is a hero of mine, musically. As a bassist and lover of good music, Paul McCartney stirs my soul.
When I use the term genius, I don't mean it in a Mozart sort of way. Paul is an incredible musician, and one of the best bassists ever, but he's not a brilliant musician. He is, however, a brilliant songwriter. He is a pop genius in that he can take a song about seemingly irrelevant material and make you care so incredibly deeply about it. For instance, going back to the Beatles, he wrote the song "Martha, My Dear" about his sheepdog. Irrelevant. But SUCH a great and affecting song.
That's what Paul does best. He makes you care. And it's even stronger when it's actually something you care about. That's the case with most of the songs on these three albums. They're significant and affecting. When I hear "Jenny Wren," for instance, I almost tear up. What a chord progression! What lyrics!
I wrote out a gigantic novel about "Memory Almost Full," but I don't think this is the best place to post it. If anyone wants a song-by-song analysis of the album, please e-mail me. I'll send it to you. Here, however, I'll give you some generals.
First off, my favorite moments from "Memory Almost Full":
- The opening few seconds, hearing just a muffled bass drum and some glorious acoustic chords.
- The part in "Only Mama Knows" where the string intro suddenly explodes into sound.
- The bass and guitar run at the end of "Only Mama Knows."
- The breakdown in "Vintage Clothes." Sweet drumming.
- Paul screaming the last part of "That Was Me." It's that scream that got the Beatles noticed in the first place...and he's still got it.
- The overlapping vocals toward the end of "Feet in the Clouds."
- The "ooooh" part at about one minute into "House of Wax."
- When he sings "UPON!" in "House of Wax" at 2:49. Oooh...shivers.
- The whole song "The End of the End." Amazing.
This entire album is Paul's meditation on his impending mortality. He's realizing that he is, eventually, going to pass on. He's looking back at his life, and realizing what he really wants. All he desires, I think, is to be remembered for the good he's done. Isn't that what all of us want?
Of the albums you listed, I think "Chaos" is my favorite. It's a quiet, beautiful, and intimate album. Honestly, I don't think "Chaos" would sound that out of place to some of today's indie kids that like stuff like Death Cab. It is, for the most part, the same sort of a vibe. Except, you know, it's done better than many indie artists. Seriously. Amazing.
"Driving Rain" is amazing, yes, but I probably put it third on my list of these three albums. Not as much of it moved me as in the other two.
I'm sure those that aren't McCartney lovers are already skipping this, so, Lady Doom (or anyone else that want to), if you want to chat about Sir Paul, shoot me an e-mail at claudio dot the dot crowing at gmail dot com.
As far as the likelihood of touring...well, Sir Paul tours when he wants to. At this point, he makes music to make music, not to sell records. If he tours again (which, to be honest, I see as likely at some point in the next few years), I'm sure he'll throw in a song or two from his latest album.