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Aural Pleasure Review

Paul McCartney: 'Kisses on the Bottom'

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Let's get all the obvious stuff out of the way first: Kisses on the Bottom, Sir Paul McCartney's new LP of famous and forgotten American standards, is well-produced with obvious reverence for its source material. That said: Do we really need another "Aging Rock Icon Covers the Great American Songbook" album? Nope — not even from Macca himself. This territory has been mined over and again by the likes of Sting, Art Garfunkel, and Rod Stewart (who McCartney occasionally sounds like here), and Macca doesn't dig very deep to find anything new — or remotely interesting — about these songs. The band, led by jazz star Diana Krall on piano, swings admirably but is consistently stymied by McCartney's square vocal delivery and so-vanilla-it-hurts arrangements. The cynic (hi there) would say that Kisses is nothing more than a transparent grab for Valentine's Day cash (one of the new McCartney originals is imaginatively called "My Valentine"). But unless your significant other is pushing 80 or less than a serious music fan, you'd be better off gifting them any of the 2009 Beatles reissues or the excellent Chaos and Creation in the Backyard. Nothing says "Honey, I totally forgot about getting you a Valentine's Day gift before I saw this CD while in line at Starbucks" like Kisses on the Bottom.

★★ ½ (out of 5 stars)

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