Wild Life (1971)


 
1. Mumbo 2. Bip Bop 3. Love is Strange 4. Wild Life 5. Some People Never Know 6. I Am Your Singer 7. Link 8. Tomorrow 9. Dear Friend 10.Mumbo Link 11.Give Ireland Back to the Irish * 12.Mary Had a Little Lamb * 13.Little Woman Love * *CD Bonus Track

 

This was Paul McCartney's first "Wings" album, but the distinction between himself as a solo artist and his "other" band was always a bit fuzzy. There was never really a lot of consistency in the members of Wings, and, at least on this record, you really can't tell much a difference between the music here and what he had released prior as a solo artist.

Like his last two releases, this one never takes itself seriously. This is simply Paul McCartney (and Wings) goofing off again in the studio and coming up with something marginally listenable, and releasing it to the public. Opinions differ as to whether that actually ever worked for him in the past, but the thing that is certain, is that this one is the least effective on record of all his early releases. There are a few nice pieces scattered about, but the whole album sounds a bit generic, with not much fluctuation between the songs.

It's usually never a good sign when the best song on the album isn't an original, and that's the case here. Love is Strange is easily the best of the bunch, and McCartney really only is successful again on the track, Tomorrow, that again is very smaltzy, but still succeeds. After that, though, the entire album falls into a bit of a rut - one of those situations where you have difficulty distinguishing one song from the next, even after repeated listens.

Things begin a bit off kilter with the lead off track, Mumbo, a song that as soon as it starts sounds like the band are already half-way through the song. It's very disjointed, even though the melody does become a bit catchy. It's again one of those situations where it doesn't sound like enough care was put into what seemed to be a good idea. The next song Bip Bop is one of those songs that really sounds annoying, yet you will catch yourself whistling the tune long after the song stops playing. You almost want to get mad at McCartney for pulling something like this over on you. How dare he make me "like" something that my brain thinks is so damned nauseating.

About halfway through the album, there are three songs that are each approximately six minutes (or more) in length. Had each of them been about half that, the album would have been slightly warmer. This monotony is only broken up by the above mentioned Tomorrow and a Linda McCartney sung song I Am Your Singer. The best thing you can say about Linda McCartney is that she sounds better than Yoko Ono, but everyone knows that's not saying much.

One of his early low points.

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