Paul McCartney’s Kisses On The Bottom album is not that bad. I know that’s not the best opening sentence of a review – but I feel it’s the truth. What is bad about it is the title. It’s ludicrously bad. Awful. Embarrassing. The latest in a long line of examples of the sort of Uncle Albert putting butter-in-the-pie shenanigans-as-self-sabotage that Macca clearly delights in – a case could be made for him as the self-aware ironist of Dad(a)-Rock. But it’s a far easier case to just see him as childishly trying to forever hang on to the last vestiges of some hippie twaddle. A shame given he’s clearly a genius and should be everybody’s hero. But hey, if you embrace the madness and the imbecility/senility of some of Paul’s bravest/dumbest moves you can fix any holes where the rain gets in.
I tried to like Kisses On The Bottom (the album) because, well, it was always going to be too easy to not like it. And it’s a smart-enough album for Sir Paul to be making in this day and age. But it’s also – for the most part – deeply unremarkable when it comes down to it.
So here for Live Kisses a session is captured where Paul attempts to be a sort of raised-on-music-hall Frank Sinatra, beautifully shot in black’n’white, backed by Diana Krall and a few other star players. It’s all so comfortable and dreamy but, again, ultimately unremarkable. The sound and picture quality are stunning – but what good is good sound if the actual sounds are not ones you need to hear. And that’s the problem here – a dressed-up/churched-up package with a lovely booklet/cover/design and a generous program – so generous as to bore to the level that might bring on (all too quickly on repeat views) the snores.
He shoots. He misses. It’s a bit like that with Macca these days – has been that way largely across the last 30 years of course. And it’s a shame he’ll never listen to my advice and make McCartney III and bow out. The correct thing to do. Instead we get things like this. Which you only need if you really think you need them. And you know what? Even if you do – you don’t. That’s the honest truth here. That’s how it breaks down. You should of course tell him – and this – to Kiss Off.
(But you read this to the end – so there’s a chance you’re still going to buy this. Well jolly good show, son. Hands across the water and all of that, then).