Paul McCartney spent his lockdown this spring creating music that he liked. The Beatle set out to record a bunch of music at his home studio for the sake of making music as a hobby rather than as his job. That music has ended up becoming his eighteenth solo album McCartney III. Inspired by the global pandemic, McCartney wrote and recorded everything listeners can hear on the album.
The record begins with ‘Longtailed Winter Bird’; a bluesy yet upbeat song reminiscent of The Beatles’ work created while the band was in India. While the song feels reminiscent of that Beatles era, the song is so obviously a McCartney solo. The album then moves into a more pop-orientated song that holds similar riffs to what fans heard from Wings. ‘Find My Way’ is a feel-good pop song that assures the listener that regardless of their worries, things are going to be alright.
McCartney III then moves onto ‘Pretty Boys’; the song holds the same hopeful tone as the previous two songs while being comparatively much slower. ‘Women and Wives’ continues the slower tempo. The song sounds as though it should be played towards the end of a coming of age film.
Bringing the tempo back up is a bit of a bluesy rock song titled ‘Lavatory Lil’. The song is driven by guitar as it tells a story of a tough girl. Then there’s ‘Deep Deep Feeling’, a bluesy love song all about loving someone, maybe just a little too much. The song brings the listener a love song with an extraordinary melancholy sound.
‘Slidin” brings the album yet another upbeat rock song that feels very reminiscent of McCartney’s sound with Wings. The song is loud and in the listener’s face in the best possible way. It’s followed by ‘The Kiss of Venus’, which begs to be a good song as McCartney has given it such a cool title. Fortunately, the song lives up to its name. Like the first track, the song feels a little bit reminiscent of the music The Beatles created while in India, only with a more modern feel to the sound.
‘Seize the Day’, like the title suggests, urges the listener to enjoy each day because you never know when times will become exponentially worse. McCartney makes sure his message of being kind to everyone you encounter and enjoying the good times is extremely valuable. The song sounds like it belongs in a musical while maintaining a sound that is so clearly a McCartney written work of art. This song is easily the standout song of the record as it feels the most McCartney while still feeling new and different.
‘Deep Down’ opens with a single incredibly high note. The song feels like a strange 80’s pop song trying to be modern and just barely missing the mark. It is so close to being so good but does not quite get there. Due to the song being so close to good, it feels like it goes on forever.
The final track on the record is ‘Winter Bird’, which begins with a bit of the same music as the first track, ‘Long Tailed Winter Bird’. The song then moves into its own instrumentation that holds a tone of hopefulness and bliss. The song tells a story of what will happen in the coming winter, a tale of finding the good in the harshness of winter.
McCartney III carries themes of hopefulness throughout each song. The need for hope and positivity in these strange times was not lost on McCartney. It is evident that McCartney wrote the album for his own fun rather than wanting to make a record to please fans. When artists create merely for the sake of creating art is much more enjoyable. The record is a good listen for anyone who misses the hay-day of rock n roll. This record is possibly the most easily listenable records to be made by a Beatle.