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Memory Almost Full
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29 March 2014
3.04am
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IveJustSeenAFaceo
Arrived Somewhere (But Not Here)
Rishikesh
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The missed guitar solo thing happens to me a lot. I didn't even notice the Stairway to Heaven solo the first few times until I listened for it. And that's supposed to be one of the best ever. I still don't know what the Crazy Train solo is. 

I'm gonna go listen to both House of Wax and Mr Bellamy right now and get back to you. 

God, does Paul sing great on House of Wax or what. Such a powerful performance.

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31 March 2014
10.02pm
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IveJustSeenAFaceo
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That autotuning mess at the end of Feet In The Clouds is horrible. Why?

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1 April 2014
6.12pm
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acmac
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DEADBEATLES said
I'm gonna go listen to both House of Wax and Mr Bellamy right now and get back to you. 

God, does Paul sing great on House of Wax or what. Such a powerful performance.

Agreed his vocal is amazing. Still, it's one of those frustrating songs that's awesome and yet I want to rewrite the third verse for him (see also "Beautiful Night"). Paul! You should totes hire me as your editor! And backup singer! Call me!

The "hidden in the yard, underneath the wall" part is intriguing. I wonder if it has anything to do with his recurring childhood dream of digging in the garden with his hands. He only ever found junk until he met John, and then he dreamt it again and found gold. When he told John about it, John said he'd had a similar dream. Shades of this conversation as reported on the Amoralto tumblr:

JOHN: Hey! Did you dream about me last night?

PAUL: [long pause] I can’t remember. 

JOHN: Very strong dream. We both dreamt about it. It was amazing! Different dreams, you know, but I thought you must’ve been there. [inaudible] I was touching you. [inaudible] 

PAUL: Nothing to worry about, though? 

JOHN: Nothing to worry about, no.

I ADORE "Mr Bellamy." Easily my favorite track on the album, and probably in my top ten of solo-Paul songs. It's amazingly cinematic; a little movie plays in my head every time I listen to it. (Paul! You should totes hire me to do your music videos! Call me!)

I think it's about exactly what it sounds like it's about: a man up on a ledge. One of Paul's wonderful character-empathy songs -- a different take on your typical suicide story that rings all the truer for its uniqueness (reminds me very much of "Back on My Feet"). When he's on his game, Paul's great at the Aristotelian "surprising yet inevitable" story.

I'm not too into the rest of MAF; I like "Vintage Clothes" and "That Was Me," and would like "Feet in the Clouds" if not for that deadly "very very very very" business. "Only Mama Knows" is a good song but I rarely want to listen to it. I have affection for "Ever Present Past" but that's down to the adorable video. The B-side "Why so Blue" is FABULOUS -- that it isn't on the album is a damn shame.

Then of course there's the problem of Kahne's production, which is wayyy too compressed and loud. It distorts the audio. Very unfortunate.

1 April 2014
8.51pm
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Von Bontee
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DEADBEATLES said

I'm gonna go listen to both House of Wax and Mr Bellamy right now and get back to you. 

Huh, I had no idea that Mr. Bellamy was a song! I thought it was just a beatlesbibler.

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One day, a tape-op got a tape on backwards, he went to play it, and it was all "Neeeradno-undowarrroom" and it was "Wow! Sounds Indian!" -- Paul McCartney
1 April 2014
9.01pm
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Ahhh Girl
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What do you think, @Von Bontee ?

feature=kp

 

10 April 2014
1.37pm
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Von Bontee
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By a stroke of luck, today is one of those days when (for whatever reason) youtube videos aren't blocked at work, so I can see exactly what that is! (It's Paul's "Mr. Bellamy", duh.)

When I get a spare 3:39 today, I'll give it a listen. Probably during lunch when there's few people nearby to be distracted. Thanks Ahhh Girl!

One day, a tape-op got a tape on backwards, he went to play it, and it was all "Neeeradno-undowarrroom" and it was "Wow! Sounds Indian!" -- Paul McCartney
10 April 2014
1.54pm
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Ahhh Girl
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Yay for YouTube unblocks! Hope you like the song!

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10 April 2014
8.53pm
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Von Bontee
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That was not bad at all, pretty good in fact! I couldn't hear many of the minor details on this crappy computer speaker but I liked what I heard (except the annoying drumming). Nice clarinet bit at the end. Further listenings will reveal more...

Thanks for posting it AG! (And thank you too, asleep-at-the-switch FortiGuard gatekeepers!)

One day, a tape-op got a tape on backwards, he went to play it, and it was all "Neeeradno-undowarrroom" and it was "Wow! Sounds Indian!" -- Paul McCartney
10 April 2014
9.24pm
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Ahhh Girl
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Von Bontee said
That was not bad at all, pretty good in fact! I couldn't hear many of the minor details on this crappy computer speaker but I liked what I heard (except the annoying drumming). Nice clarinet bit at the end. Further listenings will reveal more...

Thanks for posting it AG! (And thank you too, asleep-at-the-switch FortiGuard gatekeepers!)

 

Glad you liked it Von Bontee!

I'm learning. I've caught a thing or too, but I still have a ways to go in knowing when/when not to act. Poor @Zig  and @Joe  are probably face palming themselves daily over the questions I'm bugging them with in the background. They have the patience of saints.

 

26 January 2016
5.57am
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Mademoiselle Kitty >^..^<
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As requested by @Ahhh Girl, a brief analysis of screams in Memory Almost Full (X-posted from this thread)

Memory Almost Full 2007

Only Mama Knows - Gritty vocals throughout, touching on roars at some points, and some high notes in the choruses, with a particularly high one (upper 5th octave) near the end.
Mr. Bellamy - No screams, but some pretty high (and low) notes. I also noticed Paul's voice sounds very young at some points. I've noticed this on a few other songs on this album as well. It's always just a moment, but it's definitely there.
Gratitude - A few quite high notes, and a few roars. I get the impression the entire song is supposed to have Oh! Darling-esque vocals, but IMO he doesn't really achieve that. There's a great screaming/roaring bit in there, though.
Vintage Clothes - A REALLY high note near the end, I'll check, but I'm pretty sure it's a 6th octave note. Some strong vocals, bordering on screams but IMO not really getting there.
That Was Me - Another powerful one. Some serious roaring/screaming in the latter half of the song. Love the bass line on this one, by the way. Alright, back on topic...
Feet In The Clouds - No screaming, but some interesting stuff going on in the very very very very hard bit. They add d some effects to the vocals, but there's some pretty high-pitched singing going on there.
House Of Wax - Sung in a high key, but the vocals are still quite strong. Some good roars, as well as quite a few high notes. Just as the solo begins, Paul belts out a note which sounds like it's in the 6th octave.
Nod Your Head - A screamer from beginning to end. Vocals are reminiscent of Helter Skelter, and pretty powerful.

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'Out There' - 07-06-2015 - Ziggo Dome Amsterdam -- 'One On One' - 12-06-2016 - Pinkpop Festival Landgraaf

27 January 2016
2.12pm
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Haven't played this album in a while. Long overdue...

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31 May 2016
4.47am
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Haven't played this album in a long time as I hated it but am listening to it this morning and having got as far as 'You Tell Me' my opinion still stands. 'Dance Tonight' is repetitively dire and when he goes up at the end of the "you can do anything you want to do-ooo" lines I want to break the speakers so i dont have to hear it - yet he repeats the same effect in 'Ever Present Past'; parts of 'Only Mama Knows' sound so forced and 'You Tell Me' is so unbelievably slow, boring and dull it instantly kills any energy that lingered from the other issues. 

I'll keep going thru to the end and surely there has to be at least one decent track but there has to be a significant improvement to make me ever want to go back to any of it.

"I told you everything I could about me, Told you everything I could" ('Before Believing' - Emmylou Harris) 

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31 May 2016
6.35pm
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Thought I'd give it another listen.  I already know I like "Dance Tonight" and "That Was Me", so I'll just listen to the other tracks.

Ever Present Past -- Paul tends to do one of two things when he songwrites: he either is visted by the Muse and has an inspired song from the get-go, or he doesn't, and then tries to force a song out of no inspiration.  Ever Present Past is quintessentially the latter type -- uninspired, trying to construct a 'good song' out of pleasing sounding chords and riffs but not good enough.  The way he has contructed the melody, you can just tell his vocal exploration was filling the mundane terrain set by the chord structure like water finding the lowest common level. 

See Your Sunshine -- Again, it sounds like he came up with one or two pleasant riffs, then told himself, "Okay, now I'm going to write a song about being in love with my loved one" and then he just started form-fitting some lyrics he cobbled together into the chords, without a shred of originating inspiration. 

You Tell Me -- One feels almost obliged to be a little less ruthless about this one, as it does try its best, and Paul is genuinely trying to be deep and beautiful with this effort.  But still...  It's like Paul said to himself, "Okay, I'm going to write a saddish song, one of those minor chord dealie-wealies; let me put in lots of bleak images and references -- that's the ticket!"  What gives it away is this almost conservative caution in the way he chose which note to go to after the last one -- a problem that a songwriter when he's inspired (as Paul can be) doesn't have to worry about.

Mr. Bellamy -- This one does have some inspired moments here and there; and I like it mostly.  The chorus about Mr. Bellamy, however, kind of lapses into conservatism again -- a Bm to F#7 trope with a kind of hackneyed minor "Slavic" folk feel, and again his choices of what notes to sing ring hollow, not inspired.

Gratitude -- This one reminds me of another thing Paul sometimes lapses into that annoys me -- and he does it with most of the songs above as well:  he forces his voice into an affectation of emphasis, rather than just letting his natural talent do all the work.  With a singer as brilliant as Paul, it's like "gilding the lily".

Vintage Clothes -- Weak lyrics, repetitive; using sound effects and chord changes out of left field to mask the insipid mediocrity.  There was one nice spot as it winds to an end:  "Vintage clothes... a little more, a little tall, check the rack, what went out, is coming back" and at that point the music is inspired.

Feet in the Clouds -- Mostly, these are hackneyed lyrics and feel artificial, and ho-hum music.  Nevertheless, it has a nice feel that can grow on you (and I like his "very very very very very very hard" with some cool musical experimentation later on).

House of Wax -- Perhaps the lyrics are good, but the music is rote minor stuff without any inspiration.

The End of the End -- One shakes one's head at how trite Paul can be sometimes with his lyrics...

Nod Your Head -- Listening to this, I'm feeling, "Yes... and no...."   He seems to have begun with a germ of genuine inspiration for a rocker.  But his execution of it with his voice again has that problem as with "Gratitude" -- he's injecting his normally powerful voice with unnecessary added oomph which just makes you notice it and distracts you (sort of like watching a great actor ham it up needlessly).

Only Mama Knows -- Again, uninspired melody, singing and execution.

So now the two songs I like a lot:

Dance Tonight -- The word I keep using above, "inspired", applies here.  You know it when it's there -- immediately, without question.  Inspiration can be grand, or dazzling, or it can be a small, circumscribed thing, as with Dance Tonight.  I disagree with mr. mustard about Paul's falsetto turn (he does it twice, I believe).  Anyway, my theory (substantiated in part by a video Paul made for it) is that when Paul picked up a mandolin and start doodling on it, he suddenly came up with a simple chord change that was the hook -- pure inspiration.  At that point, he went with it, instead of trying to force it into something artificially "good" .

That Was Me -- It has a couple of "twingy" moments that seem phony, but mostly it is solid gold.  I suspect Paul knew immediately he had something good here, and again he let his Muse take him to the song as it unfolded, rather than putting the cart before the horse, so to speak.  The walking bass is delicious.

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31 May 2016
7.01pm
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Have listened to more - out in the garden so its all broken up. 

Agree with Pineapple Records in that 'That Was Me' is the best track by far on the album; sounds like Paul knew he had something going with this and let it go naturally. As for the rest 'Gratitude' and 'Vintage Clothes' are listenable but why bother when Paul has so much better material throughout his catalogue. 'Mr Bellamy', 'House of Wax' and 'Feet In The Clouds' are all instantly forgettable with nothing to make me want to return to see if what I forgot is worth remembering. Often with Paul there is at least a hook that stays in your head, in almost all of this album there are none.

Going back to 'Dance Tonight' I hate the whistling (far too weak and naff), the lyrics I find are dreadful, and the whole thing just does nothing for almost 3 minutes. Will always be the song I used to go to the bathroom when i saw Paul live - and rightly too.

"I told you everything I could about me, Told you everything I could" ('Before Believing' - Emmylou Harris) 

"Don't make your love suffer insecurities; Trade the baggage of "self" to set another one free" ('Paper Skin' - Kendall Payne)

31 May 2016
7.18pm
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Pineapple Records
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It always interests me when two people differ dramatically on a song (rather than just a little) -- re "Dance Tonight" and mr. mustard and me.  It really reminds one of how relative & subjective this all is...

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