Gearing up to return to the booth at Grow Radio I am once again delighted and bothered. Delighted ’cause I get to share all these Paul McCartney treasures with you, and bothered ’cause my favorite artist still seems to be a punching bag to hipster critics and aging dino-rockers. At least with my show, for the people who listen, I can change hearts and minds about who McCartney is and what he is about as an artist.
For a start, an open letter to ALL critics: I have noticed a number of worn-out cliches and tired redundancies when it comes to McCartney albums, so here are a few ground rules for ALL future critiques, articles, blogs, opinions, etc.
Rule #1: We no longer have to open each review with “his best album since Band On the Run.” perhaps it’s in your contracts or something that this inane statement must be made, but it is inane, and it has been stated relentlessly for nearly 40 years. Let’s all just move on together, please.
Rule #2: Even in positive to lukewarm reviews of other albums we no longer have to follow “his best album since Band On the Run” with a lengthy diatribe about how his other albums suck. First of all, they don’t, and second of all, didn’t you just say a couple years back that the album you are now dissing was “his best album since Band On the Run?” No one will think you are uncool or take away your hipster or pathetic aging rocker badges if you just start in liking the album, you do not have to justify yourselves to maintain your image as a cool guy. McCartney kicks ass and always has.
Rule #3: We no longer need to us the words “lightweight,” “bubblegum,” “sugary” or “poppy” dismissively. The adjectives usually only apply to one song per album and dismissing whole albums or stages of his career only reveals that you have not been paying attention. Take the wads of attitude out of your ears and make room for the music. but, be warned, you have to meet McCartney half way, he’s not going to hold your hand as he genre-hops. People, you are up to it, you can keep up with McCartney! He’s left most of you in the dust for years, get your shit together.
Rule #4: Let’s stop being so shocked every time he does something experimental or loud and heavy… every time you say how this doesn’t sound like McCartney you are again revealing that you have not been paying attention for the last 50 years. So, the next time Macca rocks out (which is often) and you say “I didn’t know McCartney had it in him,” I’m gonna say what McCartney does, “Where have you been?”
And remember, the only time everyone is entitled to their own opinions is when their opinions are not misinformed or based on willful ignorance.
Now, let’s all just let go, become mindful, and enjoy the next batch of Paul McCartney music every Thursday at 11am on “Get On the Right Thing, McCartney Reconsidered with Barefoot Justine” on growradio.org.