Paul McCartney: McCartney III (Capitol) - review | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Wednesday, May 22nd, 2024  

McCartney III


Jan 08, 2021 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

Stop me if you’ve heard this before: Paul McCartney, perhaps the greatest songwriter in the history of popular music, has gifted the world with yet another wonderful record. This is hardly a surprising sentiment, especially when it comes to his now trio of self-titled works, the latest of which was conceived during some of the pandemic’s darkest days. This time, McCartney reaches back for a little something extra on McCartney III, fusing blues and art pop on a record that has a surprising amount of energy for a 78-year-old artist.

Operating almost exclusively alone in recording and production, McCartney does what he does best, writing catchy hooks and penning simplistic yet poignant lyrics to accompany them. From the raw dexterity of the opening “Long Tailed Winter Bird” to the rather straightforward “Pretty Boys,” the songs are clearly influenced by the pandemic’s early isolation, but don’t feel constrained or claustrophobic.

At times, McCartney appears to harken back to his Beatles days, warning of a woman in alliterative fashion (as he’s been known to do) on “Lavatory Lil” and rattling off punchy stanzas on “Seize the Day.” Elsewhere, “Find My Way” is exceptionally upbeat, with much of this vigor pleasantly offset by the gentle acoustic stylings of “The Kiss of Venus,” the latter of which could easily be considered the best track on the record. The songs themselves may not be especially Beatles-esque in composition, but they carry with them a certain melodic intrigue that for years has served as the secret ingredient to McCartney’s ingenious songwriting.

Most of all, McCartney seems comfortable with the fact that his voice has aged. Instead of artificially attempting to cover up years of vocal wear and tear, Macca embraces maturity while still letting remnants of his younger self shine through when possible. While this sometimes results in slightly self-indulgent and vague repetition on some of the longer songs (“Deep Deep Feeling,” “Deep Down”), it hardly detracts from the considerable control exhibited throughout.

And so, while it may not have the immediate stickiness of McCartney’s other two self-titled efforts, McCartney III is nevertheless a worthy addition to his expansive and legendary catalogue. It’s catchy, well-crafted, and creative, all while remaining honest. It may not be the groundbreaking production that McCartney has, at times, produced with valiance and majesty, but it just works. (

Author rating: 7.5/10

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Average reader rating: 8/10


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