Yesterday I met my daughter for dinner. Afterwards, we went to one of our favorite haunts, Half Price Books. In the CD racks I found Paul McCartney's CD, Kisses on the Bottom. The premise of the album is simple: It's an homage to the songs McCartney's parents and friends would have sung together on a New Year's Eve during the singer's youth.
These are the kinds of songs that were standards on TV variety shows and on my own dad's Stromberg-Carlson stereo when I was growing up in the late-fifties and early-sixties.
As in his 2002 collection, Run, Devil, Run, Macca's loving tribute to the rock and roll and skiffle music with which he fell in love in the fifties, Kisses on the Bottom also contains two original McCartney compositions written in the style of the music he honors. One of them is My Valentine, which features a beautiful guitar solo by Eric Clapton. Here is the other McCartney tune, Only Our Hearts.
McCartney is in exceptional voice, despite the deterioration of that once-wondrous instrument, on this track. The only concession he makes to age here is that, unlike the crooners to whom he here alludes, Macca doesn't sustain the final sung word. The oohs at the end are up to the old McCartney standards. Throughout much the album, McCartney does not sing in full voice, probably a wise decision. But here, McCartney flat out goes for it in full voice.
I love this song. It may be romantic pablum. But any man who's loved a woman knows exactly what McCartney is talking about here. So, here accompanied by Diana Krall and her ensemble, a lush orchestration, and a fetching harmonica solo from Stevie Wonder, is Paul McCartney's Only Our Hearts. Enjoy.