by Senji Torrey
Media Production Editor
On Dec. 18, legendary musician Paul McCartney released his 41st solo album titled McCartney III. With song topics ranging from drug use to the solar system, McCartney has proven once again that he is far from finished in the music industry.
The third song on McCartney III, Pretty Boys, examines his past career as a male model, which he describes in his lyrics as similar to female models in that male models are “Objects of desire/ Working for the squire.” Furthermore, McCartney likens his experience to “bicycles for hire,” explaining in an interview that “going around New York or London, you see the lines of bicycles for hire. It struck me that they’re like models, there to be used. It’s most unfortunate.”
McCartney quickly switches it up in his next song, Women and Wives, which conveys the simple message that everyone has a footprint on this world. He speaks to “women and wives [and]… husbands” to make sure that their own footprint is positive so that their children can follow a productive and worthwhile path.
Perhaps McCartney’s most popular song comes eighth on the tracklist. The Kiss of Venus details McCartney’s peculiar fascination with a book by the same name. In the song, McCartney highlights the beauty that we see quite commonly, like “reflected mountains in a lake,” with the allure of things that command a greater sense of occasion and wonderment, like “Two passing planets in the sweet, sweet summer air.” This makes for an amazing piece that equates drastically different types of beauty to each other, allowing for captivating scenes that seem rather commonplace to become increasingly valued. McCartney softens and heightens his voice, ostensibly holding his notes on pieces of frail, yet powerfully unbreaking vocal strings that make for a beautifully melodic and mellow three minutes.
The former Beatle makes sure to set a song or two aside to vent on his personal life. One such song is “Lavatory Lil,” which McCartney wrote about a woman who played him in the past. In an interview, he stated that “You get a few of ’em in life, these people who screw you over. I thought, ‘I’ll have you. I’ll write a song. You’ll never know it’s about you… But I’ll know.’”
In the lyrics, McCartney sings, “She says it’s hunky dory when she’s tellin’ you a story/But she really thinks you’re makin’ her ill,” insinuating a “two-facedness” within this individual. However, the derision doesn’t end there. McCartney goes onto sing that this woman was a straight-up gold-digger: “You think she’s being friendly but she lookin’ for a Bentley.” Burn, baby, burn.
Whether you listen for the nostalgia of hearing a familiar 70’s voice, simply to get away from the already tumultuous 2021 scene, or for no reason at all, it is a safe bet that Paul McCartney’s McCartney III will deliver on whatever you are looking for.
(Sources: NY Times, Genius, paulmccartney.com, allmusic.com)