Do I really need Paul McCartney singing the music from the Ratpack generation? Sometimes I think it’s a sign of my growing lack of maturity that I can still never completely relate to the music my parents listened too. Intellectually I can dig Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra and Mel Torme, and I actually like Tony Bennett, especially in his later years. But that music never speaks to me the way music I actually grew up with does, from The Beatles to Moby. That music was supposed to be a revolt against Tin Pan Alley, Moon-in-June sentimentality and cliches. Yet, singers I like and/or admire, including Rod Stewart, Elvis Costello, Boz Scaggs, Linda Ronstadt and Sheryl Crow have been tackling standard tunes, usually to unmemorable effect. (In the case of Costello, excruciating effect).
Now Paul McCartney, part of a group that revolutionized music in the 1960s, has an album coming called Kisses On The Bottom, a rendering of standards produced by Tommy LiPuma with Diana Krall’s band and guests like Eric Clapton. No one’s been looking to McCartney for musical innovation since Abbey Road, although his classical works and his electronica as The Fireman with Youth certainly showed a creative spark. But as an American songbook style crooner, McCartney’s limitations as a singer and interpreter are fully revealed. He is no Tony Bennett, although judging from the first single, “Get Yourself Another Fool.” He wants to be. He doesn’t inhabit this music, he acts it out. I’m sure McCartney isn’t looking for a career on the Vegas strip, but if he was, this could be his audition. Kisses On The Bottom looks to be another forgettable vanity project.
Hear a sample for yourself with the song, “Get Yourself Another Fool.”
John Diliberto ((( echoes )))
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