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Looking at contemporary culture from a Christian worldview


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McCartney III – Paul McCartney
*** ½

Former Beatle, 78-year-old Paul McCartney, follows up his chart-topping 2018 album Egypt Station with McCartney III, his eighteenth solo album, and the third in his series of recorded at home McCartney albums. The new album, recorded at his Sussex estate in the spring during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown, follows 1970’s McCartney (“Maybe I’m Amazed”), which was released as the Beatles were breaking up and McCartney II (Coming Up”), released in 1980 as Wings was breaking up. The new album is a pleasing eclectic collection (acoustic, rock, pop) of eleven songs which you will appreciate more with each repeated listening. McCartney wrote all of the songs, plays almost all of the instruments (“Slidin’” being the only exception), handles all vocals and produced the album (with the exception of “Slidin’”, which he co-produced with Egypt Station producer Greg Kurstin). I’ve been enjoying Sir Paul’s music for 56 years, and thoroughly enjoyed this new release.
Below are a few comments about each of the songs:

Click on ‘Continue reading’ for:

  • More of this review and a review of Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming (EP) by Fernando Ortega
  • Music News
  • Song of the Week Lyrics

Long Tailed Winter BirdMcCartney featured a few instrumental tracks. This mostly instrumental opener, featuring some outstanding acoustic guitar, along with bass, drums and brass sounds, is a highlight.
Find My Way – This upbeat pop song features guitar, drums, and harpsichord.  McCartney uses a falsetto at times as he sings that he can help you out and be your guide. He can help you reach the love you feel inside. The song has a false ending and concludes with some Sgt. Pepperish sound effects. Here is the music video for the song.
Pretty Boys – This song is about male models, objects of desire, posing for photographers. The song could be semi-autobiographical, as McCartney has been posing in front of photographers for more than a half century. The song features acoustic guitar, guitar, bass, drums and backing vocals.
Women and Wives – This ballad features piano, bass and light drums. He gives advice to husbands, wives, lovers and parents, indicating that what we do with our lives seems to matter to others. as some of them may follow roads that we run down.
Lavatory Lil’ – This short rocker, which could have fit nicely on side two of Abbey Road, features some excellent guitar, drums, bass and backing vocals. You’ve got to look out for Lavatory Lil. You think she’s being friendly, but she’s looking for a Bentley. She’s acting like a starlet, but she’s looking like a harlot, as she’s slowly heading over the hill. The song will sound great in concert.
Deep Deep Feeling – This eight-minute plus experimental song features bass, drums, piano, guitar, backing vocals and at times a falsetto vocal. He sings of the deep deep pain of feeling when you love someone so much. The song goes on too long, and has a false ending.
Slidin’ – This is a “Helter Skelter” like rocker, with throwaway lyrics, featuring guitar, bass and drums. I enjoyed the “Come Together” sound at the break mid-way through the song. The song may be an outtake from the Egypt Station sessions as it is co-produced by Greg Kurstin, and features touring band members Rusty Anderson on guitar and Abe Laboriel Jr. on drums. This is another song that will sound good in concert.
The Kiss of Venus – This song was inspired by a book McCartney read about the constellations and the stars and orbits of Venus. He used phrases from the book for the song. The song features a falsetto vocal over acoustic guitar and harpsichord.
Seize the Day – This song features, guitar, piano and drums, backing vocals.
It’s a Wings-like pop song with positive lyrics about love, being kind and seizing the day.
Deep Down – This mid-tempo song features brass sounds, bass, drums, piano, acoustic guitar, harmonium and backing vocals. The song is excellent vocally and musically, but has throwaway lyrics.
Winter Bird/When Winter Comes – “When Winter Comes” is an unreleased song from the early 1990’s, which was produced by George Martin. “Winter Bird” opens with the excellent guitar from “Long Tailed Winter Bird” and then moves into the acoustic guitar driven “When Winter Comes” as he sings about being on his farm, a song that would fit well on his 1971 album Ram.

Best Songs
Long Tailed Winter Bird
Find My Way
Lavatory Lil
Seize the Day
Deep Down
Winter Bird/When Winter Comes

Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming (EP) – Fernando Ortega

This surprise (I didn’t find out about it until after Christmas), four song Christmas EP is Fernando Ortega’s first new music release since his 2017 album The Crucifixion of Jesus. The songs are beautifully performed with Ortega backed by piano and cello. Listed below is brief information about each of the songs on the EP, along with videos of Ortega performing them:

Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming – This is a 15th century German Christmas carol, which was translated by Theodore Baker.

In the Bleak Midwinter – This Christmas carol was written by Christina Rossetti (words) in 1872, and Gustav Holst (music) in 1906.

See Amid the Winter’s Snow – This hymn was written by Edward Caswall (words) in 1858 and Sir John Goss (music) in 1871.

Gloria – This song uses lyrics from what is known as the “Gloria Patri”.

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   Gloria by Fernando Ortega

This week’s song of the week is “Gloria” from Fernando Ortega’s Christmas EP Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming. This song uses the lyrics for what is known as the “Gloria Patri”. Watch Ortega perform the beautiful song backed by piano and cello.

Glory be the Father
Glory to the Son
Glory be to the Holy Ghost
Glory be the Father
Glory to the Son
Glory be to the Holy Ghost
As it was in the beginning
Is now and ever shall be
World without end
World without end

Author: Bill Pence

I’m Bill Pence – married to my best friend Tammy, a graduate of Covenant Seminary, St. Louis Cardinals fan, formerly a manager at a Fortune 50 organization, and in leadership at my local church. I am a life-long learner and have a passion to help people develop, and to use their strengths to their fullest potential. I am an INTJ on Myers-Briggs, 3 on the Enneagram, my top five Strengthsfinder themes are: Belief, Responsibility, Learner, Harmony, and Achiever, and my two StandOut strength roles are Creator and Equalizer. My favorite book is the Bible, with Romans my favorite book of the Bible, and Colossians 3:23 and 2 Corinthians 5:21 being my favorite verses. Some of my other favorite books are The Holiness of God and Chosen by God by R.C. Sproul, and Don’t Waste Your Life by John Piper. I enjoy music in a variety of genres, including modern hymns, Christian hip-hop and classic rock. My book Called to Lead: Living and Leading for Jesus in the Workplace and Tammy’s book Study, Savor and Share Scripture: Becoming What We Behold are available in paperback and Kindle editions on Amazon.

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