Paul McCartney - Kisses on the Bottom
Macca covers 1920s and 1930s standards, with vanilla results
Paul McCartney has the weirdest back catalogue of any Beatle. This is an album of the 20s and 30s standards his dad used to play and it's less weird than perplexing, thanks to the unfortunate choice of Tommy 'Mainstream' LiPuma as producer. After his last two death-haunted albums, Macca sings as if from beyond the grave, in an unnerving quavery half-whisper that you can imagine Gordon Jenkins underlining with doomy strings. Instead, the arrangements are relentlessly vanilla, the guest stars (Krall, Clapton) are comfy, and McCartney's tentative edge is smoothed by his team's bland professionalism. Sometimes it's great: 'Bye Bye Blackbird' is a haunting valediction, and 'Get Yourself Another Fool' is a suave up-yours to a certain second wife. But you can't help wishing he'd done the whole thing himself on a ukulele and a drum machine. Still, word has it that Sir Paul's new best friend is Dave Grohl; the weirdness abides.