Saturday, 1 September 2018
Paul McCartney - Kisses on The Bottom (2012)
Released February 2012
Recorded in London, Los Angeles and New York City
This is an album of cover versions of "easy listening/crooning" songs that Paul McCartney remembers from his childhood. The are delivered in a fetching, appealing manner, with his ageing voice adding a nice feeling to what are mainly quiet, melodic and relaxing songs.
They are largely played in a jazzy style - lots of drum brushes, beautiful jazz guitar and a delightfully warm stand up bass. The sound quality is excellent and it makes for an enjoyable late-night listen. Yes, it is a bit in the Rod Stewart "Great American Songbook" fashion, both in the type of material covered and in the method of vocal delivery but somehow it doesn't seem as cheesy as those albums do in places. It has a nice ambience, like putting on your slippers for the first time in autumn and sucking a Werther's original. Very rock 'n' roll I know, but he wanted to do it, and clearly enjoyed it, so fair play to him. Bob Dylan, Bryan Ferry and Van Morrison regularly mine this sort of material these days. McCartney grew up in the same era, so it is unsurprising that these songs mean a lot to him. They are the songs his mother and aunties liked. He covers the songs evocatively and respectfully. I certainly play his regular material far more than I do this, but there is a place for this sort of album.
Some of my favourites are the most jazzy ones - the jaunty "Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate The Positive" and the smoky, late night feel of "My Valentine" and "Get Yourself Another Fool". Stevie Wonder adds some trademark harmonica on "Only Our Hearts", too.
- September 01, 2018