Paul McCartney: “Memory Almost Full”
Producer: David Kahne
Hear Music/Starbucks Entertainment
Release Date: June 5

Your memory would be almost full too if you'd lived a life like McCartney's, experiences from which form the foundation of this satisfying new album. The Beatle great plays most of the instruments here, conjuring the simple pleasures of albums like 1989's "Flowers in the Dirt" on the mandolin-flavored "Dance Tonight" and the bubbly pop/rock of "Ever Present Past." Multitracked, high-register vocal harmonies add a Wings-y touch to the melodically sublime "See Your Sunshine," while the orchestral intro to "Only Mama Knows" morphs into a fast, vaguely angry track with a narrator who seems to question why he was born in a "godforsaken town." The calculated nostalgia of the closing five-song medley is a bit much, but is redeemed by "House of Wax," a gloriously overblown slice of moody psychedelia with a gnarly guitar solo and righteous vocal flourishes. Rock on. --Jonathan Cohen