Album Review: McCartney III
Paul McCartney promotes his new album, McCartney III - The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon / Youtube
One could say that Paul McCartney never really went solo until he kickstarted his self-titled album series from 1970, with the latest being McCartney III just released in late 2020. Whether he was tired of working with a group or just wanted enough space to be experimental, these albums are undeniably a reflection of McCartney’s idiosyncracies.
McCartney III opens with a placid track titled “Long Tailed Winter Bird”, riding over a standard rock format with occasional vocal chants breaking the instrumental barrage. Next is “Find My Way”, which is a bit meatier than the previous and tricks you into thinking that the following tracks will sound the same.
However, it ends there as songs like “Lavatory Lil” throws you off with its comic dynamics, or “Slidin'”, which brings you back to rocker territory with its cornucopia of edginess. “Kiss Of Venus” winds up differently with an acoustic progression that provides a counterbalance to the grease of its predecessors.
He goes for a reprise at the album’s end with “Winter Bird – When Winter Comes”, which is a great way to do so considering its function as a proverbial summary of McCartney III. In this folk cut, he hails back to the imagery of his previous eponymous albums along with records from his time with Wings.
In conclusion, McCartney III is just one of Paul’s “children”, in that it is unique and certainly holds up to others well enough. Considering the time it was made in – which is during the COVID-19 pandemic at the time of writing – he definitely hits a few points here and there without being too in the face at the same time. Indeed, with that much time in his hands, McCartney is better of making music that he truly enjoys, and one with the freedoms he can relish outside the realms of commercial commitments.