Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Paul's Kisses

So I have never been a big Beatles fan, though I certainly respect them and their huge contribution to pop music. (Weird, but I like Beatles songs better when sung by other people) When I heard that Paul McCartney was going to do a "jazz" album singing songs from The Great American Songbook, I was kind of glad, if only because it will bring the standards more attention. Plus when I heard that it was going to be produced and arranged by Diana Krall and her band, I was doubly glad, because she did such a great job when she worked with Streisand.  Well, the arrangements are glorious, and the production (by Tommy LiPuma) are top notch and you can tell these songs are close to McCartney's heart, since he has been quoted as saying these are the first songs he learned, as his father was a great big fan of these songs. But, and this is a big but, it just didn't appeal to me. It was nice and very very pleasant, but I felt like the idea has already been covered with great success by one of his contemporaries, Rod Stewart, and I feel like he was just following suit. I know my opinion will be unpopular, as McCartney has millions of fans who will lap up everything he will serve, but, for me, anyway, these songs have been sung better by other people, and I didn't hear anything new or interesting in his interpretations. I forgot his versions seconds after I heard them. Yes, there was Irving Berlin's "Always," but I found myself dreaming of other versions while he was singing them. Maybe it's the straightforward reading he gives them that doesn't do it for me. Superstar guests like Stevie Wonder and Eric Clapton drop by to liven proceedings but all they did was just provide some distraction to the big elephant in the room. Paul McCartney fans - we will all just have to agree to disagree about "Kisses On The Bottom." I'll stick to my old jazz vocal albums, you can all have Paul. 

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