McCartney III Imagined
“It was really good to be able to play music, and make up music, and put your thoughts and your fears and your hopes and your love into the music,” Paul McCartney told Apple Music of making 2020’s McCartney III, his 18th solo LP, in the midst of a global pandemic. “So it kind of saved me, I must say, for about three or four months it took to make it.” In that spirit, McCartney personally approached several generations of more contemporary artists to share in (and extend) the experience for McCartney III Imagined, a set of remixes and new interpretations that speaks to the joy and generosity of the original, itself a sort of refuge. Beck converts the pinballing chamber pop of “Find My Way” into a supremely languid funk tune, placing McCartney’s vocal poolside on a chaise made of cowbell. Khruangbin does Khruangbin things with “Pretty Boys,” stretching it out over nearly six minutes of psychedelic expanse and incandescent rhythms. Elsewhere, Blood Orange mastermind Dev Hynes sinks his teeth into the thick melancholy of “Deep Down,” Phoebe Bridgers revels in the gilded harmonies of “Seize the Day,” and Josh Homme makes himself very much at home in the bluesy grooves of “Lavatory Lil.” Most striking here perhaps is Dominic Fike (born 25 years after the release of McCartney’s self-titled solo debut in 1970), whose liquid, keys-driven take on “The Kiss of Venus” feels almost blissful, unburdened by the circumstances. Anyone could be overwhelmed by the weight of McCartney’s name and legacy, but this—all of it, really—just sounds like fun. A celebration of the things that keep us going.