Ram (1971)


 
1. Too Many People 2. Three Legs 3. Ram On 4. Dear Boy 5. Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey 6. Smile Away 7. Heart of the Country 8. Monkberry Moon Delight 9. Eat at Home 10.Long Haired Lady 11.Ram On 12.Back Seat of My Car

 

In many ways, this album picks right up from where his first solo album, McCartney, leaves off. The style here, in many aspects, is identical. The difference being that this record sounds a bit more finished, a bit more produced and therefore a bit more special. This was really the only thing that was lacking on his first album - which almost sounded like a set of great little songs that almost seemed to be orphaned.

Because his first album wasn't very warmly received, this album was destined to be greeted in the same manner since the style is so similar. Like its predecessor, this album has a lot of cute "ideas", a few solid "songs", and it takes several listens to warm up to before you "get it". It's a bit ironic hearing Paul McCartney's early solo material right next to John Lennon's. The two styles, moods and mannerisms of these two great artists are so alarmingly different, that you have to wonder how they ever got along, yet alone produced arguably the best music of the entire century.

This album is "cute", "feel good", "whimsical" and "happy" all rolled into one. In other words, if you're a perpetually pissed off person, you won't like it. McCartney would spend almost his entire post Beatles life being "happy" and whereas some people argued that this attitude took a bite out of the effectiveness of his music, other's would say those people are full of it, and if you can't be "happy" in your life, well, then what's the point?

The best, or the most polished, songs here are the hit Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsay, The Back Seat of My Car and Heart of the Country. These songs sound exactly what you would expect from Paul McCartney, and establish him just fine as a successful solo artist. The rest of the songs come across as being a bit frivolous and goofy, so they may raise an eyebrow after an initial listen, yet the album grows on you.

Witness such titles as Monkberry Moon Delight, or the lyrics to Smile Away where he joyfully croons "I can smell your feet a mile away....". Yes, it's goofy, but in a fun way. There are those who are very glad when artists don't take themselves too seriously. Paul was letting us know that he was enjoying life - probably even more so without the baggage of The Beatles.

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