Monday, October 01, 2007
Paul & Linda McCartney - Ram
Even as a wee lad, I was always searching for new jamz to settle the fuck down with. After spending the first six or seven years of my life completely enamored with cult electro-acoustic happy hardcore improvisation collective THE BEATLES, I began gravitating more towards the solo work of one Paul McCartney. Now, I'm sure you're thinking, "Paul McCartney? He's a pussy who writes embarassingly inane pop songs that suck my shitty asshole always!" But mang, I'm pretty sure that that's the very reason I even made the effort to listen to the dude's music in the first place! His work as a solo artist and as a member of Wings simply took his fruity pop sensibilities that were displayed so brightly in his work as a Beatle to their logical and most ridiculous extremes. Despite some truly awful lyrics, Paul never failed to at least try and bring the awesome melodies with his songs, and that's what makes his post-Beatles output tower way the fuck above that of John, George, and Ringu. The dude had drive and enthusiasm, and apart from when he occasionally reduced himself to lazily churning out generic old-timey 12 bar blues rock 'n roll bullshit, his songs could rarely be described as "boring."
But despite digging the crap out of Paul's consistently melodic pussy poppers as a young person, as well as being genuinely impressed with the excellent Chaos & Creation In The Backyard, I had somehow managed to convince myself that solo Paul McCartney albums were not things that I particularly needed in my life. Of course, I was horribly wrong. And so we start with Paul's absolutely glorious sophomore effort, Ram. This isn't the sound of Paul just wiping his jizz on a mic (McCartney), nor is it the sound of Paul desperately trying to preserve his right to play in a good 'ol fashioned RAWK band (most Wings albums.) No, this is just our friend Paul McCartney delivering GORGEOUS MELODY AFTER GORGEOUS MELODY, by way of everything from masterfully constructed mini-suites to halfassed bluesy crap to bouncy ukulele whatever to some of the most fun lovin' attemps at "hard rock" ever conceived.
And it's all produced in a really nice Abbey Road sort of way, too! Shit just sounds great. So tight, so shiny. But man, this thing is just a total success. The fruity pop songs like "Dear Boy" and "Heart of the Country" are totally fruity, and the multi-part mini-suite things like "Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey" and "The Back Seat of My Car" (sweet jesus, THIS FUCKING SONG) are completely overblown and ridiculous, but fuck, it all WORKS. This sort of shit would sink a lesser artist, and has done so for Paul himself, keeping much of his subsequent work from achieving unequivocal greatness. But not so on Ram. Hell, Stephen Thomas Erlewine is completely dead on in making it a point to describe the "filler" as "enjoyable filler." McCartney albums are generally chockful of filler, but even the half-assed backporch honky blues of "3 Legs" manages to grab you with melodic wonderfulness! Same with the stupidly repetitive rocker "Smile Away." These songs just fill my heart with joy. The songs that should come across as low-points actually end up being really, really fucking catchy and endlessly enjoyable. Critics probably hated it because it's just so much damn fun and Paul screams like an idiot during all of the album's "rock" songs. But man, I sure do know amazing melodies when I hear them, and how anyone could have heard "The Back Seat of My Car" or "Ram On" in 1986 or whenever this was released and not have immediately recognized them as being Beatles caliber tunes should really just go suck one.
Also, the album is co-credited to Linda because she sings semi-prominent backing vocals on a few songs and has very little discernible talent whatsoever.
Rating: Legitimately fantastic album. Convincing yourself that you don't need this shit... BAD. Very, very bad.
Song: "The Back Seat of My Car"... I could go on and on about this fucking song. Seriously. The balls.