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MACCA & COSTELLO - PUTTING ON A BRAVE FACE,
This review is from: Flowers In The Dirt (Audio CD)
Paul McCartney's solo career has always been a patchy affair - for every Band On The Run there was a Wild Life - and some of his biggest hits have been the most saccarine and ropey songs (Ebony & Ivory, Pipes Of Peace, Frog chorus). Critically the 80's were'nt great for Macca. The hits kept coming but the quality of the albums and singles took a severe nosedive.
So the arrival of 1989's Flowers In The Dirt was something of a second coming. Fired up by his collaborations with Elvis Costello and finally able to accept his role as a Beatle, Paul turned out an album that was his best for a decade. The Beatley influences are all over it - the jangling guitars, harmonies, melodic bass playing (his Hofner came out of mothballs) and perfectly realised songs.
The tracks co-written with Costello remain the best - 'My Brave Face' is perfect powerpop with a smart lyric and a huge chorus, 'You Want Her Too' is dripping with sarcasm and great one liners and 'That Day Is Done' is understated and stately. McCartney himself contributed the beautiful 'Distractions' - one of his best post Fabs ballads, the rocking Figure Of Eight, 'This One' and the Dave Gilmour assisted 'We Got Married'. Fine songs all and proof that the muse hadn't entirely deserted.
The album received positive reviews and McCartney embarked on a massive world tour that would see him fill almost half the nightly set with Beatles classics - many of which had never been performed live - ever.
Flowers In the Dirt isn't as good as Band On The Run or Flaming Pie but it's still up there with the best of his solo work.