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4.5 out of 5 stars37
4.5 out of 5 stars
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VINE VOICEon 17 January 2012
This album just improves with time and repeated listenings. It was produced at an interesting, challenging and personally difficult time for McCartney, with his wife's illness clearly at the front of his mind, and reflected in many of the songs recorded here. It also came at a time when the massive Beatles Anthology project had just concluded, and you can hear the freshness in the songwriting as a result - yes, it sounds Beatlesque, but with a modern, updated feel that reflects where McCartney was at this period in his life.

All the musical influences that shaped McCartney's writing and playing to date seem reflected here. Family values are mentioned in many of the lyrics, a sense of being grateful for what life brings shines through, and there is warmth, blues, reflection, fear, uncertainty and anxiousness all wrapped in the directness of well-crafted storytelling within the medium of popular song. With experienced musicians onboard such as Steve Miller, Jeff Lynne and Ringo Starr, the backing is first-rate, but no-one is allowed to forget whose solo album this is: make no mistake, this is Macca's record.

McCartney seems at ease with who he is on this beautifully realised album. Mature enough to be looking forwards as well as backwards (with less bitterness perhaps than was the case when the Beatles first broke up) - this is superior pop making from someone as vulnerable to the ups and downs of the life as the rest of us - but just able to channel it all into accessible songwriting. It's a masterpiece.
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on 12 November 2013
Coming after the Beatles' Anthology project, Paul produces some sublime music. If not as always uniformally. Here goes:
The Songs We Were Singing Nice wistful opener, but lacking a little variety (eg a middle eight) to make it truly memorable. 7/10
The World Tonight the second single and it has it moments. But as a song it's not too special 7/10
If You Wanna Pleasant but nothing special 6.5/10
Somedays McCartney classic,sublime 10/10
Young Boy Good first single,I really like this. Nice guitar solo. But the ending goes on too long (a bit like Back Seat Of My Car) 8.5/10
Calico Skies Very nice ballad, especially the melody 8.5/10
Flaming Pie Amusing lyric and good sound,if not much as an actual song 7/10
Heaven On A Sunday Nice but too derivative to be a classic 7/10
Used To Be Bad Pretty bad 5/10
Souvenir Lost little gem right here, nice production from J Lynne 8/10
Little Willow Classic, especially the middle section when the piano comes in 9.5/10
Really Love You featured Ringo but should have NOT have been released 3/10
Beautiful Night I love it,and Ringo's singing on the last chorus is a delight 9/10 :-)
Great Day Reflective closer 6.5/10

The best moments here lift this album above most of Paul's output post Wings for me.
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on 8 May 2014
I have stayed away from latter day McCartney solo stuff as I figured he must be out of gas by now. But with Dylan recently singing Sir Paul's praises I took a chance on this one.

Recorded after The Beatles' Anthology series was completed McCartney for once set the bar as high as the old days and kept it there. Yes, a fair bit of it does sound like something from him before but I still loved Little Willow (allegedly written for the family of the late Maureen Cox) and all the songs about his late wife Linda inspiring him. Ah, call me a softy, okay? And if you like the Beatles check out the final ballad here, Beautiful Night.

One problem is there is so much Beatle-ness going on you find yourself half expecting the next song to have a George or John vocal. Yes, Ringo and Sir George Martin are here at times but the one chord improvised Ringo jam is filler and the Steve Miller blues piece seems a bit filler too. A case of three fewer songs on this album and you would have had a stronger artistic statement but we seem to feel albums lasting at least 45 minutes are the law now and so be it. But lose three songs and I feel this would be right behind Band On The Run or Tug Of War as a Macca Classic.

I still play better mandolin than him. I do, its true!
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on 13 September 2011
I really cant speak highly enough of this album. It's a masterpiece!!
When everyone thought Macca was washed up back in the 80's and early 90's he then came out with this beauty in 97' and blew all the critics away. If only Jeff Lynn(Producer) had worked on some of those earlier albums!!
McCartney at the top of his game!!!
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on 17 November 2006
Right from Day 1 the critics in one form or another sit behind their desks and push their pens.The World awaits for the judgment from these one time-rock-wannabbes-who-failed and its as if this is the County Court.

McCartney is on trial for a possible failure to communicate and as evidence here's the sales figures from his last album.Members of the Jury make your deliberations.....

The jury returns and the verdict is announced.Rubbish

Yes we've heard it so many times.When it happenned with RAM the result was a chart topper.

So its sales figures which say whether an album is good,bad or indifferent? Nothing to do with a composer who plucks notes out of the air,turns them into songs not even like any of his others and is able to convince millions he did the right thing?

I don't think I'd like to be a rock critic as I'm biased for one thing.I don't think I could say anything about Radiohead-why are their albums selling more than McCartneys-they are boring.

You've got to realise that McCartney has fingers in many (flaming) pies.His ambient and classical output for instance-something which began as far back as the mid 60s and "The Family Way".

This is an album which brings together many names from Beatles days.Its there for anybody who wants it.Sometimes albums don't need to sell in millions to prove their greatness-McCartney's already done that both collectively and individually.

And its also worth bearing in mind McCartney's penchant for reconstructing the Beatles songs or even his own later ones.Here's where Mccartney makes some of the best Beatles Cover Versions-after all he's the custodian of the legacy-the Keeper of the Flame.

As the Stones struggle to recapture former glories McCartney does it effortlessly with every album

With every new album you know he'll keep on trying something new,influenced by everything around him-even his son growing up
11 comment11 of 13 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
Flaming Pie (a phrase once thought up by a certain Mr Lennon) was written & recorded while Paul McC was living with the painful knowledge of wife Linda`s cancer, and its probable outcome. This may account for so many tender and nostalgic ballads but it doesn`t explain why this is so damn good, Paul`s very best album since well before the Beatles split, a near-perfect hour or so of immediately likeable, well-crafted songs, with none of either the tweeness or the bombast that blighted so many of his recordings in the past, from Ram through Band on the Run, which I never liked much, to many of the later efforts.
Well, Linda died the following year, the tragedy of which gives this post-Beatles career-best album a poignancy at times beyond words.
Many of the songs seem in retrospect to be both loving acts of mutual remembering and bittersweet songs of remembrance. Some of Paul`s loveliest songs are here: Somedays, Calico Skies, Heaven on a Sunday, Souvenir, Little Willow, Beautiful Night. That makes almost half the album, all melodic ballads the equal of anything he`s written. The more uptempo tracks are, with perhaps one slightly throwaway exception (Really Love You) as good as the others. Linda - her swansong - sings on a few tracks, and there are contributions from Jeff Lynne (discreet for once), Ringo on drums, and the great Steve Miller, an old mate of Paul`s, who duets with him on a raggedy blues knees-up, Used To Be Bad, their voices complementing each other and Miller playing some mean lead guitar.
John, Paul, George & Ringo all inflicted some appalling trash on an innocent public
after a certain group (we didn`t really have `bands` then) split up, as well as the odd good album or memorable song. But Flaming Pie sounds to me like the best thing any of them have put out since Sgt Pepper. (George`s Cloud Nine is pretty fine, too.)
I play these songs only a few times a year, to keep them fresh. They always sound as wonderful as they did on first or second hearing. Paul`s now-grainier voice helps too, having lost some of its perennial boyishness, gaining in gravitas.
A beautiful record.
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on 4 May 2012
I have had this record since it first came out and as i get older my thoughts on it have changed.
I was a young teenager mad for The Beatles when i first got it in 97 and thought it was a great album full of rocking tunes.
I am now at the ripe old age of 33 and i put this album on again recently and listened from start to finish.
What struck me most was how the recurring theme of being there for a loved one and wanting to hold them comes up in the songs,it was something that i had not noticed before and i am amazed that i missed it...
Of course Linda was dying of cancer at the time of the albums making and wherever it was deliberate or note you can't help feel that alot of these lyrics that McCartney puts down are in reference to this..
Yes there are still rocking tunes on here ("The World Tonight" being a highlight)but even with them there is that sence of not wanting to let go and thinking over your past and time spent together.
It is simply one of Paul's most personal albums i feel and given that it was also done after The Anthology still feels fresh and new and while his albums since have been interesting and excellent he hasn't topped this gem...

Standout tracks have to be "World Tonight" "Somedays" & "Beautiful Night"
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on 2 September 2001
'Flaming Pie' is a classic album. The Beatles were excellent, Wings were good, but it just goes to show with this album that Sir Paul McCartney can still cut it!
The best songs are: "The World Tonight," "Somedays", "Souvenir" and "Beautiful Night" - they are classic Macca! He really is on top form.
Obviously, there are a few duds, though. "Used To Be Bad" sounds like the spontaneous jam that it is meant to be and "If You Wanna" features some atrocious lyrics. But generally, 'Flaming Pie' is an absolute joy of an album - musically accomplished and excellent, and lyrically extremely refreshing!
Even Ringo crops up on a few tracks, and the producer Jeff Lynne, makes sure that McCartney is largely left in control of the way it sounds - and boy, does it sound good!
Sit back, relax, dim the lights, grab your acoustic guitar and spend an evening with the greatest living legend of all time!
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I am too young to remember a beatles album actually hitting the streets,but i have to say if one was to hit the streets tomorrow i`ll bet it would sound somthing like this. This has to be the best Paul album for a very,very long time. It is an eclectic mix of tunes,from the `rocky` title track flaming pie, to the melodic somedays. Somedays is an absolute jem which is surely a modern day `yesterday`. Calico skies is a song could be lifted straight from the white album and the imagery of Heaven on a sunday is a joy. Compared with all these is a blues number`used to be bad`and a jam session sounding blast (with Ringo)really love you. As i said if you want to buy a new beatles album this is as close as you are going to get. It also comes with wonderful sleeve notes containing lyrics and explainations of where the songs came from.
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on 7 June 2014
Hello, I have always been a very big fan of Paul McCartney, respected his legacy, but if I'm honest (just my opinion) he has missed for many years now someone to tell him when a particular song might be a bit dodgy. I should imagine by now no-one would dare to speak out against his material,so now I've said that I'll leave it at that. This is a great album, it looks back but also looks forward, so the balance is perfect, great songwriting, add it to your collection, an essential for any Paul fan. This is a glimpse of what is still there, is ultimate masterpiece in music for the future is still to come.
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