Sunday, February 08, 2009

Amoeba's Secret by Paul McCartney

It is always interesting when an artist of Paul McCartney's stature and accomplishment goes on a late career roll. Often, a string of records that would have been heralded as a watershed period earlier in an artist's career is downplayed or simply ignored. It's as if we take the genius of legendary artists like McCartney for granted. Before we can acknowledge the greatness of their current music, we require them to eclipse not only their finest work but, even more difficult, our memory of their finest work, which is tangled up in nostalgia for wherever we happened to be in our lives when we first heard it.

Beginning with the release of "Driving Rain" in 2001 and carrying through "Chaos and Creation In The Backyard," "Memory Almost Full" and especially last year's incredible "Electric Arguments" (released under his now not so secret alter ego The Fireman) McCartney has been quietly making the best music of his post Beatles career and some of the best music of his entire career. I don't know if it was the death of his longtime wife Linda or a new found desire to prove that he is still a vibrant, adventurous artist with something to say but Paul McCartney has without a doubt made some of the best music of the decade.

"Amoeba's Secret" is a four song live ep that was recorded at a rare in-store appearance Paul made with his band when "Memory Almost Full" was out. It includes a rocking version of "Only Mama Knows," from that same album, a rare live airing of an obscure Wings b-side called "C Moon," the playfully nostalgic "That Was Me" and a rambunctious airing of "I Saw Her Standing There." The thing that really jumps out at you is just how much fun McCartney, his band and the audience are having. It's really hard to believe that this is a man in his sixties and hard to think of a time when he has ever sounded better.

For those of you who have been ignoring what amounts to a period of rebirth for one of the most important artists of the rock era, do yourself a favor and spend seven dollars on this funky little ep. Or better yet, you can buy the download for a mere four. Either way you won't be disappointed.

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