Paul McCartney, ‘Kisses On The Bottom’ – Album Review
Paul McCartney is one of the most famous beings on the planet. He is one of, if not the, most successful songwriters of all time.
His legacy is untouchable, so basically, the man can do whatever he wants! And what he wanted to do at this moment in his life, with his new album 'Kisses on the Bottom,' was to record an album of songs from his youth. Or, 'standards' if you prefer.
Unlike the hugely successful 'Great American Songbook' series by Rod Stewart, this comes off as a much more personal affair. In a press release for the album, Paul eloquently said of the songs "I always grew up loving them and associating those songs with family and good times."
Recorded at the famous Capitol Records studios and beautifully produced by Tommy LiPume, this album truly has the feel, vibe and sound of classic recording by artists like Frank Sinatra and Nat King Cole. It's smoother than silk and warmer than your favorite blanket on a winter's day.
'Kisses on the Bottom' is guaranteed to melt hearts and form smiles. Paul's vocal delivery is spot on. He really has the feel for this material and is able to put his own stamp on the songs as well. Lest we forget, however, he is not the first Beatle to venture into these waters. In 1970, Ringo Starr released the album 'Sentimental Journey' which featured a dozen such standards (including 'Bye Bye Blackbird,' which McCartney also covers) way before anyone in the rock and roll game ever had such a notion.
'My Valentine' and 'Only Our Hearts' are the two lone McCartney originals on the album, and they both fit seamlessly, especially 'My Valentine' which has 'standard' written all over it reminding us of both a song from a bygone era as well as some of Elvis Costello's forays into similar terrain.
We shouldn't be surprised to learn then that Mrs. Costello (Diana Krall) guests on the album, as do Stevie Wonder and Eric Clapton, both adding their signature style to the mix. Though we might tend to be cynical about such an album as this, one can't help but feel Paul's genuine love of the music coming through.
Be aware, this album does not rock! We knew that going in. And while we can hope McCartney still has another 'Smile Away' or 'Jet' in him waiting to get out, true fans will gladly take this over hearing him trying to chase today's current pop music trends. There are no duets with Lady Gaga, LMFAO or any 'American Idol' rejects to be found here, and for that we can be more than thankful.
It's highly doubtful that this will be McCartney's playbook from here on out, but rather a casual stop along the way. Then again, if it's a 'hit', we will probably see Vol. 2 and beyond, but hey, any artist who can pull off 'We Three-My Echo My Shadow And Me,' 'Helter Skelter,' 'Standing Stone,' and 'The Fireman' in one career is doing something right. Sir Paul has done it all, and then some. Let him have his fun!