Friday, July 06, 2012

Paul McCartney: Kisses on the Bottom

"The music on Paul McCartney’s first 'standards' album, 'Kisses on the Bottom,' floats over you like a light mist on a cool spring morning in an English garden as the sun glints through the haze. You want to inhale the fresh air, taste the fragrance of buds blooming, as the sky clears to a serene deep blue. Mr. McCartney exudes the unassuming charm of a country gentleman in a good mood, sitting on the grass and whistling to himself. 'Kisses on the Bottom' breaks the mold of the typical standards album by a rock performer. Far from a solemn, self-conscious act of reclamation, it is more a jaunty tip of the hat to the pop music of his parents’ generation. Every element of the album, produced by Tommy LiPuma, contributes to the feel of a perfectly fitted, custom-tailored suit. The rhythm arrangements by Diana Krall, who plays piano on most of the cuts, have a crispy, airy bounce. In addition to members of Ms. Krall’s band, the guest guitarist John Pizzarelli gives his instrument a buoyant, ukulelelike sound. Mr. McCartney, whose voice is almost as youthful as in the Beatles’ glory days, doesn’t explore lyrical subtext. He trusts in the reliable pleasures of catchy pop tunes, of moon, June and spoon" (Tim Berne, "McCartney Gets Back, Way Back," New York Times, 2/6/12).

View catalog record here!