Paul McCartney, “See Your Sunshine” from Memory Almost Full (2007): One Track Mind

Share this:

Embroiled in a very public and nasty divorce, Paul McCartney embraced everything that made him matter in the first place on the ardent Memory Almost Full, released on June 5, 2007. That’s perhaps never more so than on this terrific throwback.

In general, the album dealt more in the retrospective than the expected bitter introspection. That’s fully realized on “See Your Sunshine,” a canny Wings redo that ends up as the record’s most anachronistic but somehow most appealing tune.

Background vocals, bright and cyclic, so strongly recall Denny Laine and late wife Linda as to transport you completely back into 1976. (“Silly Love Songs,” after all, went to No. 1 during the final week of May that year.) This is the kind of pure pop that Paul McCartney parlayed into a soundtrack for the decade immediately following the Beatles’ own ugly split. And just as welcome.

Memory Almost Full, as a group of very committed fans discovered, was an anagram for “my soulmate LLM,” Linda Louise McCartney’s initials. Asked the question, Paul reportedly said: “Some things are best left a mystery.” But he’s not one of them. Paul McCartney is supposed to sound exactly like this song.

That he meets that standard, so fully inhabits his own cliche, during a period of crushing adversity is part of Paul’s charm. It always has been.

That said, “See Your Sunshine” is not necessarily representative of Memory Almost Full, which insisted (under a grinding, industrial riff, on “Vintage Clothes”) that we shouldn’t “live in the past; don’t hold on to something that’s changing fast.” Comfy nostalgia also didn’t fit with Paul McCartney’s then-recent departure from Capitol — where, after all, he’d recorded since the early ’60s. McCartney subsequently signed with a Starbucks imprint for this, his 21st solo CD, and agreed to release Memory Almost Full for the first time digitally on the Web.

Still, it was comforting to know that even as Paul McCartney attempted to embrace this brash new world, he hadn’t forgotten what came before. In a letter released in advance of the album, McCartney said the title came to him after the message “Memory Almost Full” popped up on his cell phone. “In modern life,” he wrote, “our brains can get a bit overloaded.”

“See Your Sunshine,” in particular, is a CTRL-ALT-DELETE on all that.

Nick DeRiso

Nick DeRiso

Nick DeRiso has written for USA Today, American Songwriter, All About Jazz, and a host of others. Honored as columnist of the year five times by the Associated Press, Louisiana Press Association and Louisiana Sports Writers Association, he oversaw a daily section named Top 10 in the U.S. by the AP before co-founding Something Else! Nick is now associate editor of Ultimate Classic Rock.
Nick DeRiso
Share this:
Close