I’ve listened to the album a score or more times now. (Albeit, my pirated copies of the songs are terrible. Can’t wait for clean versions of the songs, plus the bonus songs on the deluxe edition which I have not heard yet.) Here’s my thoughts.
Memory Almost Full
- “Dance Tonight” – 2:56
I dug on this song right away. Quite catchy as one only expects from Paul. The only thing I find strange about it is that the song is not really a song you’d dance to. I’m not saying you should be able to, but it would add a layer of cleverness to the song. If you watched the video I posted of this on YouTube, you’ve heard this one now as well as “Ever Present Past.”
- “Ever Present Past” – 2:59
Also dug on this right away. I gave a bit of a review of this before when I first posted the song. Although now I have the full version of it instead of the truncated 1.5 minute version. The full version is just as enjoyable.
- “See Your Sunshine” – 3:22
This one is very 80s Paul. It could have landed on any album circa that decade and it would have made sense. It’s not bad, but it’s not a standout track either.
- “Only Mama Knows” – 4:19
Way dig on this song. It is Back to the Egg style rockin’. I know I am almost alone on this, but I really like Back to the Egg as an album. I like when Paul tosses out the tooty horns, the penny whistles and the clarinets and turns it up to 11. This one totally goes to 11.
- “You Tell Me” – 3:17
With this song Paul takes it down a few notches after rockin’ our socks RIGHT OFF. “You Tell Me” seems like a Chaos and Creation in the Backyard left-over. Paul also sings with his old-man voice, which has become more and more prominent with the last few albums.
- “Mr. Bellamy” – 3:41
“Mr. Bellamy” is another way diggable track. This song is in the spirit of the awesome Wings era (the Band on the Run to Venus and Mars phase). It wouldn’t necessarily have been a single, but it is of the caliber of playful songs from that era.
- “Gratitude” – 3:21
Sadly, not an Oingo Boingo cover. And just as sadly, not as good as Oingo Boingo’s “Gratitude.” More Paul-old-man singing.
- “Vintage Clothes” – 2:24
Here begins the suite. (Pop Suite! Pop Suite!) This has some interesting bits, but also has some whistles in it, hence it does not go to 11.
- “That Was Me” – 2:16
Fun little rocker. A welcome groove after “Vintage Clothes.” I dig on this song as well.
- “Feet in the Clouds” – 3:26
“Feet in the Clouds” seems like something you might here on a White Album outtakes album. (I have several White Album outtakes albums. “Feet in the Clouds” does not appear on any of them.) I find the lyric “I know that I’m not a square, As long as they’re not around” quite clever. Sadly immediately following such a clever lyric Paul way overuses the word “very” – quite possibly English’s most boring word. He also uses that voice machine thing every recording artist seems to dabble with once. Still “Feet in the Clouds” is on my dig list.
- “House of Wax” – 5:01
The dark movement of Pop Suite! Pop Suite! Also features a wailing guitar (you can never miss with that).
- “End of the End” – 2:59
Things brighten up here. Though this song always makes me uncomfortable. I don’t like when Paul sings about “the day that [he] die[s].” And more whistling. Always the whistling.
- “Nod Your Head” – 1:58
Paul tries to take it back up to 11 after saddening me with a song that was intended to cheer me up. But it doesn’t work. It’s cacophony is too jarring. It’s almost a dressed-up “Why Don’t We Do It in the Road.”
Overall as an album, I’d say that I am pleased with Memory Almost Full. I enjoyed it on the first run through, which I couldn’t say for a Paul album since “Flaming Pie.” Not that I don’t like the albums in between, I do, but I did have to let them grow on me. (Although, I’d say “Driving Rain” is one of my fav Paul albums now.) Furthermore, I do keep listening to it, even with terrible quality versions of the songs, so that says something. This being Paul’s 21st solo studio release (counting Wings’ albums), I’d say it easily fits in the top 10. Probably the bottom half of the top 10. That’d be a crazy project to rank them all.
I’ll review the bonus tracks when I get those on release day.