Memory Almost Full

Studio Album by released in 2007

Memory Almost Full review

A new landmark in McCartney's career

The lyrics from The Beatles' song When I'm Sixty Four draw quite a peaceful picture of a calm and relaxing life in retirement. However, facing his sixty-fifth anniversary Paul McCartney isn't going follow the course of events that he described in his song many years before. He is of good cheer, full of creative forces, still loves giving live concerts and he's got his twenty first solo album called Memory Almost Full ready. Paul McCartney likes doing things simultaneously "I've always got a few things on the go. I like to be able to work that way, because if suddenly your producer's not available or whatever, it's nice to be able to pick up another thread," he says, and this concerns new album either. He started working on it in 2003, even before his 2005's album Chaos And Creation In The Backyard was planned. "When I was just finishing up everything concerned with Chaos and had just got the Grammy nominations (2006) I realized I had this album to go back to and finish off." As a result, the album represents 13 new songs part of which was added and part was slightly done over during recent year. Memory Almost Full is somehow not a usual album of ex-Beatle, the thing is that this is the first Paul McCartney's album for the last 45 years, which wasn't released on CapitolEMI, the label he left in the last year, thus the record opens a new landmark for this legendary musician.

Memory Almost Full reminds McCartney's Wings period

If McCartney's album Flaming Pie was a Beatles inspired project than Memory Almost Full is a recollection about his Wings period. Not every song, of course, but overall it sounds lively, tuneful with the same mood of Wings in their best years. However, the moments that remind you The Beatles are present here either. The first song displace McCartney playing on his latest discovery – mandolin. As he himself comments: "I recently got myself a mandolin and I was just playing about with it and came up with the basis of this track". The album's main single is Ever Present Past. This is one of the autobiographical songs represented here; at least this is what a retrospective flavor of its lyrics makes you think about. "In places it's a very personal record," confirms McCartney, "a lot of it is drawing from memory, like memories from being a kid, from Liverpool and from summers gone". The final part of the album is marked with a five-song medley – a form of the songs presentation that The Beatles used on their Abbey Road. However, this one is of a different type, it was written on purpose whereas Abbey Road's was done accidentally.

Purposefully retrospective

McCartney calls Memory Almost Full "purposefully retrospective" and this is really so in many respects. He frequently sings about his life and the music at times throws a listener back to some of his earlier records. Nod Your Head for instance may remind you Come Together and a pastiche of different themes on Vintage Clothes looks like Wings' experimental B-sides. But with all this going the album never sounds nostalgic or sad. It concerns even minor tracks. Listen to End Of The End or House Of Wax, the mood of these songs is rather filled with a hope for the future and even their slightly eerie coloring doesn't ruin this feel. It is hard to say that McCartney tries to keep up with the times but the record overall sounds really fresh; one can feel neither tiredness nor creative laboriousness. He sticks to his old discoveries in terms of sound too but the general sounding nevertheless strives to a modern approach. Memory Almost Full is a nice and sufficiently catchy album, the majority of songs sound really great. Old fans will love it and McCartney will certainly receive another award for some of these new songs. Therefore the question that he posed on When I'm Sixty Four – Will you still need me, will you still feed me? receives a definite answer. Many and many people all over the world still need him and they still feed him as well.