Tuesday, July 16, 2013
How do you follow a phenomenon like The Beatles? By distancing yourself from them? By trying to top them? For Paul McCartney, the answer was by merely carrying on. In the 40-plus years since separating from the most important band of all time, McCartney has released solo albums in the truest sense of the word (including 1970’s McCartney, recorded entirely alone save for some vocals from his then-wife Linda), started a new band (Wings, which scored a dozen top 10 singles), tried to make the world a better place, and generally carried on like one of the happiest people on the planet. Even when he was reflecting on a life well-lived on 2007’s poppy Memory Almost Full, he did so unburdened by the legacy of The Beatles. That’s even truer of his latest album, 2012’s Kisses on the Bottom, a low-key collection of jazz and pop standards released through Starbucks’ Hear Music label. It’s a small album, the work of an artist less interested in making grand statements than in making music for the sake of music. For his current tour of baseball stadiums, McCartney will return to Milwaukee for the first time since playing the Bradley Center in 2005.