I STILL LOVE YOU, PAUL.
Here is my unsolicited review of Paul McCartney’s McCartney II, which I bought today because it was $6 at the used record store. I am not a music critic, but I feel obligated to do my best.
Skip this song, listen to any Talking Heads song through 1980 instead.
Unquestionably the greatest three minutes of Paul’s solo career. Period. That includes Wings.
ON THE WAY
I can’t stand straight blues music and most of its close relatives. Zero points awarded. Listen to a real blues song instead.
I have no idea what TLC saw in this painfully boring song. Whatever it was, they managed to squeeze a better, more relevant song out of it than Paul did. (Polar Bears???)
Hi, I’m Paul McCartney. I have heard a Chuck Berry song once. I will now prove that by writing a shitty Chuck Berry song. See Chuck Berry instead.
The worst video game music you will ever hear in your life. Play Megaman instead.
SUMMER’S DAY SONG
I have been to more exciting funerals.
Cool song if you like pentatonic music and calling people “Jap,” which I’m almost certain was not an OK thing to do even in 1980. The handclaps are a nice touch. See Bowie’s China Girl instead.
Every note of this song instantly feels offensive in all manner of ways. If I were Sasha Frere-Jones I could probably explain why. But I’m not, so just take my word for it.
Thank you, Paul McCartney, for making spontaneous sex in a room with only hot red lights sound like something only old people do.
ONE OF THESE DAYS
This song should come with free lukewarm bathwater and a box of razor blades. The whole box, yes. Just in case you mess up the first time and are still able to hear the song.
Closing remarks: Points awarded for trying out synthesizers, points subtracted for not using them as well as almost everybody else who was making records at this time. I am more familiar with the music made after and possibly in response to this album, so points awarded for inspiring other musicians to do this, but points subtracted for not doing it as effectively. Extra points deducted for the unsettling facial expression on the front of the album. I can only believe that you sat on a whole pineapple and it went someplace bad. And just because you can play pretty much every musical instrument ever invented doesn’t mean you should. Inviting other people to be on your record is not a sign of weakness, and it probably would have helped fill out the spare arrangements.
I will end on a positive note by saying that Paul completely redeems himself many years later on Chaos And Creation In The Backyard, a seamless “Classic Paul” record with real fun and warmth, and an effortless flow. Many, many points awarded. (Due in no small part to Nigel Godrich’s tough love and trademark spookiness.)