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Paul and Linda McCartney: Ram
The songwriting quality on Beatles albums was so high that it’s disconcerting to hear filler tracks on solo albums. But that’s the main flaw of Ram, now receiving a 40th anniversary reissue a year later. The only album credited to Paul and Linda McCartney, it’s more distinguished by its slack songwriting than its cobilling, which was controversial at the time. For every tuneful confection like “Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey” (a chart-topping U.S. hit) or “Heart of the Country,” there’s an unconvincing rocker like “Smile Away” or “Three Legs.” Elsewhere McCartney sounds unengaged, only mustering real passion on the accusatory “Too Many People” and “Dear Boy,” thought to be directed at John Lennon at the time. The Abbey Road remastering doesn’t have the loss in treble that marred the 2009 Beatles reissues, and the release comes in several special editions, most of which come with a bonus CD with the non-LP hit single, “Another Day.”
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