Another stark reminder that we are blessed to have Paul McCartney
Harrison Smith
16:50 18th December 2020

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It wouldn’t be too foolish to think that Paul McCartney - nearly sixty years into his illustrious career and the man responsible for writing and co-writing some of the most notable songs in pop music history - has done and said just about everything he needs or wants to. But on his latest album McCartney III (the third in a trilogy), it’s pretty clear that the taps of creativity are still freely flowing. Clearly, McCartney still has a lot left in the tank. 

McCartney assumes writing, recording and production duties for the entire record and has never been more playful in those roles. Opening with the folky romp ‘Long Tailed Winter Bird’, a chaotic acoustic noodle loaded with pounding drums and Fab Four signature ‘do do dos’, the frolicking freedom that Macca has embraced during his later career is gloriously apparent. 

The album skips along merrily with the Beck-sounding ‘Find My Way’ where a helping hand is lent through troubling times and the delightfully fun ‘Slidin’ offers some of the most attitude-laden guitar riffs since ‘Helter Skelter’. The rock and roll roots are harkened back to with the back-to-basics ‘Lavatory Lil’, dishing up the cautionary tale of a facetious girl: ‘you think she's being friendly / but she's looking for a Bentley.

‘Deep Deep Feeling’ - the midway point of the record - is an eight-minute experimental reflection on love lost/love found and all the outrageous emotional goings-on in between. It may well represent the only bloated moment of the album, where repetition detracts from the gravity it’s intended to present.

For the most part though, it's a masterstroke decision for McCartney to award himself full creative control. Tracks are deservedly allocated time to breathe whilst not outstaying their welcome. ‘Deep Down’ for example, cooks up a late-night driving ambience, cruising over simple acoustic chords partnered with raspy vocals crooning over night-time observations.

It’s been unmistakable for many years, but McCartney III is another stark reminder that we are blessed to have Paul McCartney, now 78. His trademark warmth and charisma have the artistic drive and hutzpah to be as prolific as ever though he could’ve stopped years back. Lockdown could have been an opportune time to finally kick back and take it easy but thankfully, that’s just not his style. 

McCartney III is out now via Capitol Records. Delve into our 11 Most Underrated Paul McCartney tracks. 

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Photo: Press