Memory Almost Full

Paul McCartney

I’ve liked Paul McCartney for damn near half a century, though I generally went with the consensus of opinion that the songs he did outside of his collaborations with John Lennon tended to be treacly and uninspired. Still, some of his better songs had catchy pop hooks, and others maintained a tight connection to his rock ’n’ roll roots. But Memory Almost Full is insipid. For McCartney to have grown old with so little to say is lamentable, especially since so many of his contemporaries once turned to him and other musicians of his generation for insight. “The End of the End” is a rumination on death with nothing much to say on the subject. If a musician without a name took these songs in as a demo, there’s no music company on the planet likely to release the disc. But Starbucks did, in a marketing deal that showcases McCartney on their newly launched label. And that seems rather appropriate because this CD is just product, a piece of disposable merchandise trading on nostalgia. People who turn to the guy who wrote “Yesterday” when he was 24 looking for some insight into facing mortality at 64 will be sorely disappointed.