In a roller-coaster career that´s nearing the 40-year mark, Paul McCartney has tallied his share of both successes (McCartney, Band on the Run, Flowers in the Dirt, and, most recently, Chaos and Creation in the Backyard) and embarrassments (McCartney II, anyone?). Consequently, the trumpeting of a new Macca opus brings the faithful a whiff of anticipation mingled with trepidation. His latest effort does little to dissuade that notion, but it´s not the pale follow-up that was feared after 2005´s critically acclaimed Chaos and Creation. Still, superficial song titles like ¨Dance Tonight,¨ ¨Nod Your Head,¨ and ¨Only Mama Knows¨ don´t bode well for astute content. Neither does the revelation that the album was started and then abandoned before the Chaos sessions. On the other hand, rumors that he´d dish the dirt about his ex, Dancing With the Stars celebrity starlet Heather Mills, promised at least some titillation. Ultimately, all that transpires are songs bearing his usual wistful reflection such as ¨Vintage Clothes¨ and ¨That Was Me¨ alongside more silly love songs, ¨Gratitude,¨ and the innocuous aforementioned rockers, ¨Only Mama Knows¨ and ¨Nod Your Head.¨ Contemplative ballads exist here, and one or two tracks may linger long enough to find their way into his live set list (the irresistibly infectious ¨Dance Tonight¨ and the meandering ¨Ever Present Past¨ among them). That leaves only the album title itself as cause for contemplation. Does Memory Full mean he´s losing inspiration, falling victim to the fragility of old age, or simply unable to cope with the uncertainties of cyberspace? No matter; having passed the point of speculation that caused him to croon ¨When I´m Sixty-Four,¨ either art or alimony would suggest the Isle of Wight may have to wait.
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