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Sir Paul the Crooner

Paul McCartney - Kisses from the Bottom

I was watching an iTunes webcast of Paul McCartney performing songs from his new album live from Capitol Studios in Hollywood when I realized that something was a little…off.

The hands! Paul wasn’t holding a guitar or bass and that’s just not what he’s used to.

Kisses from the Bottom features his acoustic guitar in a couple of places, but it’s really a vocal showcase for the music legend. Inspired by family-and-friends sing-alongs he recalls from his youth, the album is dominated by off-the-beaten-path mid-20th century standards – songs, to quote Paul’s old Beatles lyric, that were “a hit before your mother was born.” You’ve got to think he had something like this album’s charming “My Very Good Friend the Milkman” in mind when he composed music-hall-inspired fare like “Honey Pie” and “When I’m 64” for the Beatles.

Diana Krall and her sidemen, plus some jazz pros and famous friends like (Eric Clapton and Stevie Wonder), handle the lion’s share of the music on Kisses, leaving it to Paul to croon a little Irving Berlin, a couple of Frank Loesser tunes and two of his own.

He’ll get back to his instruments soon enough. For now, give the singer a hand.

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