@@@ Paul McCartney: III (Capitol, 2021) Many solo McCartney records have been hailed as the return of the king, it’s a predictable move so it’s reasonable to be skeptical of his Covid lockdown record. I thought the first tune was notable for not having a lot of vocals which is the part of McCartney I don’t love but the second tune has a more prominent vocal structure and it’s not cloying. And the playing is quite fresh considering how rock has been for an extended time now. So the praise for this record unfolds in a music world that is not dominated at all by rock. He’s kind of shaming the hipsters here with weird little parts and quirky ass arrangements. Of course if you don’t like rock and classic rock in particular it’s gonna be a reach to get super into this record which is how music works. I’m not a huge McCartney fan at all and I’m on the third tune and even though it’s a ballad it’s less cheesy than standard McCartney ballads and I’m not running for the stop button. I do prefer the uptempo rockers to the slow jams but it’s definitely one of the best rock albums I’ve heard in a long time.
@@@ Duval Timothy: Brown Loop (Carrying Colour, 2020) I fucked up the other day when I said that a record by DJ Python was the #1 record at Crack Magazine in the UK. This record by a half Brit, half Sierra Leonian guy is the correct #1 for Crack. I think it’s quite adventurous to choose a solo piano record as your #1 record of the year. Unfortunately it’s more adventurous than the music. The playing is fine but I’ve heard a lot more sophisticated solo piano playing and though it’s slotted as jazz it’s more of a light jazz or even a Broadway inflected type thing as the playing never melts down or explodes in some rhythmic frenzy. I dig the lyricism here but it’s not my #1 record of the year, last year or this. Just to put a bow on it there’s more unexpectedness in Paul McCartney’s new record and that’s not a put down, it’s an observation.