The photos from the album McCartney are seared indelibly into my consciousness. They capture so many golden moments in pastoral, domestic family life. As a child, the album was often propped up in front of our record player and I would get lost in each image, staring into them one by one while simultaneously absorbing the music crackling through the stereo. I wanted to live in those pictures and actually still somehow feel, although clearly my family was different from the McCartneys, like they capture the mood and feeling of the best, most nostalgia-raising days of my childhood.
Must be why listening to the album these days takes me right back there, to my earliest years, only now I can listen to the album with my own thoughts and images of love, family and the pastoral. This new, more complex listening experience that comes with McCartney now that I am older has deeply enriched an already fantastic album for me.
McCartney was Paul's first post-Beatles album and he came at it sounding as confident as ever, making singularly fab songs such as "Every Night," "Maybe I'm Amazed," and "Junk" sound so simple, so easy. Though there are some patchy bits where the record veers into instrumentals, I see those portions as time to process some of the other songs, moments to wrap up my mind in my own memories while still listening.
On McCartney, Paul sounds so effortlessly on top of his game. He played pretty much all the instruments himself, wrote all the songs himself... It's 1970 and he's in love and satisfied with his life. Perhaps, though it is 2009, because I feel similarly and have my own little family and life to daydream about, this album is getting to me more than ever these days.
It was Paul's birthday yesterday, incidentally. Seems like a good time to put some McCartney on the player -- the album is so worth going back to if you haven't heard it for a while, and it's definitely worth finding if you've never had the chance to hear it before.
Here's "Maybe I'm Amazed":