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Paul McCartney’s “Liverpool Sound Collage” Reviewed

The three album, post-Linda creative peak. ends with Paul McCartney’s solo album # 32, a return to the electronic ambient he’d created with Youth as the duo The Fireman, and rethought it as a  beatley number nine-y but with, bizarrely, a commercial skill at odds with his achievement. Even when McCartney wants to be a creative artist, to shed his poptunes veneer of a lifetime, there is something poppy about him.

In 2000, the artist Peter Blake (who created the album sleeve for Peppers) asked Paul McCartney to create a Liverpool musical montage to go with Blake’s  Collage exhibition at Liverpool’s Tate Gallery in 2000 the result is what is hardly a commercial sound yet bits of business, perhaps simply because Paul adds the Beatles voices, so immediately recognizable, seems to be penetrable. Whether it is McCartney saying “do what you want to do” in the studio (an obvious outtake from Harrison’s “Think For Yourself”) on “Peter Blake 2000” or the first voice you’ll hear on the album John Lennon, it is a shuffling of the familiar into different shapes. The other thing you’ll recognize is outtakes from the title track off Pepper’s. Four of the five tracks are credited to McCartney/Beatles…

Both Youth and Super Furry Animals were sampled (Super Furry Animals would only agree if McCartney appeared on this next album, Paulie performed carrot and celery on “Receptacle For The Respectacle” -a terrific Beatle-y song) and the collages are, not unlike “Revolution 9” (which is also sampled), the same sense of a major musician at work, a certain track construction that sounds like an album.

So far McCartney had covered just about every musical base imaginable (a decade or so later he’d add rap to it) as he spent his 50s doing anything he wanted to. Soon, he’d give up on the charts (more or less -there will be “FourFiveSeconds”) as he toured and released albums that didn’t actually do well at all, and live albums that did worse.

One more thing, if this is the final new recordings featuring The Beatles, better “Plastic Beetles” than “Real Love” or “Free As A Bird”.

Grade: B


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