Memory Almost Full [Bonus CD]

( 4 )

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Allusion to the digital world though it may be, there's a sweet, elegiac undercurrent to the title of Paul McCartney's Memory Almost Full, an acknowledgement that it was written and recorded when McCartney was 64, the age he mythologized on Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, released almost exactly 40 years before Memory. Certainly, McCartney has mortality on the mind, but this isn't an entirely unusual occurrence for him in this third act of his solo career. Ever since his wife Linda's death from cancer in 1998, he's been dancing around the subject, peppering Flaming Pie with longing looks back, grieving by throwing himself into the past on the covers album...
See more details below
CD (Special Edition / Digi-Pak / Bonus CD)
$23.46
BN.com price
(Save 6%)$24.99 List Price
Other sellers (CD)
  • All (11) from $1.99   
  • New (5) from $3.99   
  • Used (6) from $1.99   

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Allusion to the digital world though it may be, there's a sweet, elegiac undercurrent to the title of Paul McCartney's Memory Almost Full, an acknowledgement that it was written and recorded when McCartney was 64, the age he mythologized on Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, released almost exactly 40 years before Memory. Certainly, McCartney has mortality on the mind, but this isn't an entirely unusual occurrence for him in this third act of his solo career. Ever since his wife Linda's death from cancer in 1998, he's been dancing around the subject, peppering Flaming Pie with longing looks back, grieving by throwing himself into the past on the covers album Run Devil Run, slowly coming to terms with his status as the old guard on the carefully ruminative Chaos and Creation in the Backyard. But if that previous record was precise, bearing all the hallmarks of meticulous producer Nigel Godrich, Memory Almost Full is startlingly bright and frequently lively, an album that embraces McCartney's unerring gift for melody. Yet for as pop as it is, this is not an album made with any illusion that Paul will soon have a succession of hit singles: it's an art-pop album, not unlike either of the McCartney albums. Sometimes this is reflected in the construction --- the quick succession of short songs at the end, uncannily (and quite deliberately) sounding like a suite -- sometimes in the lyrics, but the remarkable thing is that McCartney never sounds self-consciously pretentious here, as if he's striving to make a major statement. Rather, he's quietly taking stock of his life and loves, his work and achievements. Unlike latter-day efforts by Johnny Cash or the murky Daniel Lanois-produced albums by Bob Dylan, mortality haunts the album, but there's no fetishization of death. Instead, McCartney marvels at his life -- explicitly so in the disarmingly guileless "That Was Me," where he enthuses about his role in a stage play in grammar school with the same vigor as he boasts about playing the Cavern Club with the Beatles -- and realizes that when he reaches "The End of the End," he doesn't want anything more than the fond old stories of his life to be told. This matter-of-fact acknowledgement that he's in the last act of his life hangs over this album, but his penchant for nostalgia -- this is the man who wrote the sepia-toned music hall shuffle "Your Mother Should Know" before he was 30, after all -- has lost its rose-tinted streak. Where he once romanticized days gone by, McCartney now admits that we're merely living with "The Ever Present Past," just like how although we live in the present, we still wear "Vintage Clothes." He's no longer pining for the past, since he knows where the present is heading, yet he seems disarmingly grateful for where his journey has taken him and what it has meant for him, to the extent that he slings no arrows at his second wife, Heather Mills, he only offers her "Gratitude." Given the nastiness of the coverage of his recent divorce, Paul might be spinning his eternal optimism a bit hard on this song, but it isn't forced or saccharine -- it fits alongside the clear-eyed sentiment of the rest of Memory Almost Full. It rings true to the open-heartedness of his music, and the album delivers some of McCartney's best latter-day music. Memory Almost Full is so melodic and memorable, it's easy to take for granted his skill as a craftsman, particularly here when it feels so natural and unforced, even when it takes left turns, which it thankfully does more than once. Best of all, this is the rare pop meditation on mortality that doesn't present itself as a major statement, yet it is thematically and musically coherent, slowly working its way under your skin and lodging its way into your cluttered memory. On the surface, it's bright and accessible, as easy to enjoy as the best of Paul's solo albums, but it lingers in the heart and mind in a way uncommon to the rest of his work, and to many other latter-day albums from his peers as well. [This version of Memory Almost Full includes a bonus CD.]
Entertainment Weekly - Chris Willman
His best record since 1989's Flowers in the Dirt, Memory is beautifully elegiac and surprisingly caffeinated. (A-)
San Francisco Chronicle - Aidin Vaziri
A vividly tuneful throwback to the peak of Wings, when McCartney had just discovered his personal freedom and exacted revenge on the world with enormous rainbow-colored melodies. [Rating: Excellent]
The Guardian - Neil Spencer
Large parts of Memory Almost Full do, in fact, sound like Wings on a good day; jaunty, tuneful, laced with high-end harmonies and spangled by a guitar sound straight off Band on the Run.

A vividly tuneful throwback to the peak of Wings, when McCartney had just discovered his personal freedom and exacted revenge on the world with enormous rainbow-colored melodies. [Rating: Excellent]
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • Release Date: 6/5/2007
  • Label: Hear Music
  • UPC: 888072303584
  • Catalog Number: 230358
  • Sales rank: 110,307

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Dance Tonight (2:54)
  2. 2 Ever Present Past (2:57)
  3. 3 See Your Sunshine (3:20)
  4. 4 Only Mama Knows (4:17)
  5. 5 You Tell Me (3:15)
  6. 6 Mr. Bellamy (3:39)
  7. 7 Gratitude (3:19)
  8. 8 Vintage Clothes (2:22)
  9. 9 That Was Me (2:38)
  10. 10 Feet in the Clouds (3:24)
  11. 11 House of Wax (4:59)
  12. 12 The End of the End (2:57)
  13. 13 Nod Your Head (1:58)
Disc 2
  1. 1 In Private (2:09)
  2. 2 Why So Blue (3:12)
  3. 3 222 (3:39)
  4. 4 Paul Talks About the Music of Memory Almost Full (26:04)
Read More Show Less

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Paul McCartney Primary Artist
Rusty Anderson Guitar
Brian Ray Bass Guitar
Paul "Wix" Wickens Keyboards
Technical Credits
Paul McCartney Composer, Instrumentation
Geoff Emerick Engineer
David Kahne Programming, Producer, Engineer
Bob Ludwig Mastering
Steve Orchard Engineer
Paul Hicks Engineer
Max Vadukul Inlay Photography
Humphrey Ocean Back Cover, Cover Art
Adam Noble Engineer
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 4 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(3)

4 Star

(1)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Not his best, but better than anyone else!

    The excitement doesn't get old, waiting for the release of Paul's latest CD. You KNOW that there will be at least one great song that never existed in anyone's mind before, one that is deceptively simple and yet complex for that reason. I find that I like his CDs more and more as I listen to them. He can still write what he calls "work songs", the ones that he just knocks out in an afternoon, but the ones that last are the ones that you have to live with and let grow. I like MAF more now than when I bought it. ( House of Wax will be a classic ) As down side, I will say that I am not a fan of this high, soft voice that he's been using since Flaming Pie, and I wish that his next producer goes for a more produced sound. The last 2 CDs have been clean productions, but have a demo-y feel. Paul, just once more, call George Martin, bring in the big orchestra, do what no one else can do. God, I love your music!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Paul at his best!

    This very solid offering from Paul is a joy to behold. 'Memory Almost Full' (an incredible title) touches all of our senses. From the jaunty mandolin opening of 'Dance Tonight'to the rocking last track 'Nod Your Head' Paul holds our attention with beautiful melodies and harmonies, driving beats and rythms and yes, a touch of sentiment. There is a sense of nostalgia in the air with highlights of his childhood scout camp, playing conkers, the Cavern & finally, being on TV. Upon first listen you realize that Paul is in top form and his writing style, lyrics and melodies are filled with twists and turns and surprises. I will say that the minute I listened to the harmonies of 'See Your Sunshine' I noticied that there was something missing and it was Linda's vocals. It is pure Wings and regardless of what others have said, Linda was definitely a contributor. On a final note (although not the final cut on the CD)'The End of the End' presents us with Paul's wishes on how he'd like to be remembered "On the day that I die I'd like jokes to be told and stories of old to be rolled out like carpets that children have played on". With that we get a glimpse of the man and what lies deep within his heart. Paul closes with a rocker 'Nod Your Head'. A rousing rythm with a wonderfully simple message "If you like the life your living, nod your head". Yes Paul, I'm nodding my head to my life, your life and 'Memory Almost Full'.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    The return of Wings!

    With Paul McCartney's splendid new LP he is found to be doing a spot on Wings impression. No small feat to be sure! The man, who was a member of not one but TWO of the greatest rock bands of all time, forgoes the requisite Beatles route and instead channels his inner Wings. And we are all the more lucky for it. What a joyous sound Mr. McCartney revisits! Not only is his voice in fine form, his song writing is once again at it's 1970's peak! Paul McCartney has a knack of taking an ordinary statement and imbuing it with intrigue. "I'm so grateful for everything/You've given me." It's the kind of thing that you or I might say at least once a day. Yet McCartney makes this simple phrase sound as if it is being considered for the very first time. There are songs which are immediately recognizable as potential hit singles, the most obvious being the attractive 'Dance tonight' which opens side one. The range of mood is startling: the cool spaciousness and straight ahead drive of ‘Ever Present Past’ contrasts beautifully with the nightclub folksiness of ‘You Tell Me’’ and the heavy metal feel of ‘Vintage Clothes’. Sir Paul hasn’t mined this territory so successfully since ‘Jet’. This one is a real rocker folks! Perhaps this is an album that won’t hit you right away, but it grows on you. After five or six hearings, many of the subtleties of the arrangements, the choice of instruments for a particular passage ( such as the gorgeous string arrangement that proceeds ‘Only Mama Knows’), the feeling Paul puts into a phrase, or simply the effectiveness of a melody, begin to swim into focus. We ought to see plenty of songs from this album climbing straight up to the top of the hit parade from now until Christmas. MEMORY ALMOST FULL is a superb offering. If anybody ever puts down McCartney in your presence, bust him in the chops and play him this. He will thank you for it afterwards. Good one, mate!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Outstanding

    I am so glad I bought this CD. I bought this mainly because of the catchy video and song "Dance Tonight". The songs on this CD will not disappoint. You will find yourself playing this CD over and over and over and over.....

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews