Flowers in the Dirt (1989)

 
1. My Brave Face 2. Rough Ride 3. You Want Her Too 4. Distractions 5. We Got Married 6. Put it There 7. Figure of Eight 8. This One 9. Don't Be Careless Love 10.That Day is Done 11.How Many People 12.Motor of Love 13.Ou Est le Soleil

 

By the time the decade of the eighties was nearing the end, people were having serious doubts about Paul McCartney. Was he really brain dead? Was he finished? Did he smoke maybe a tad too much dope back in the sixties? Whether or not he made a conscious decision to turn things around or not, it definitely sounds like this was his intention on this album. He worked closely with Elvis Costello - a bit of an odd choice upon first inspection, but the collaboration here is not intended to be "Costello like" but rather to infuse fresh ideas and directions into the mix.

The approach works. This album definitely sounds like a McCartney album, but there are elements of new styles and freshness abound which is exactly what Paul McCartney needed on this album. He still sings mostly about love, marriage, sweetness and, well, "silly love songs". He's a bit more adventuresome and takes a few more chances. It didn't hurt that this album had a massive advertising campaign pushing the record, nor the fact that Paul embarked on a massive stadium tour.

The album is not flawless, nor is it a classic. One look through the track listing, and you probably won't find many songs that resonate through your memory. To be fair, this had more to do with the changing times than the quality of the songs. There were several songs that received some good airplay - most noticeably This One which is the best song on the album. The album has a very positive vibe throughout signifying that Paul was again serious about making some good music. He could make strong strides when he put his heart into it. There are several cases where it does sound like he's trying too hard to sound too different, and the album seems to be heavily front loaded.

This is more of an album about "feel" than it is about individual songs. And for the first time in a long, long time, it felt "good" to listen to Paul McCartney.

Back To Main Page
Go To Next Review