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Author Topic: Microscope: Tug Of War  (Read 3825 times)

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Bobber

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Microscope: Tug Of War
« on: July 06, 2012, 10:35:19 AM »



Tug Of War
After his experimenting and 'back to the base' with McCartney II, Paul starts off this album with this song. I think it's a wonderful song. Some might call it over-produced and it's true that it's full of all kinds of sounds. The song starts with the sound of a tug of war, men 'pushing and pulling'. I could do without that and start straight away with Paul's vocal, like he did on the single version of this song. Paul's voice and the acoustic guitar at the start sound great as it always does. Instrumentation (strings) at 0.34 adds the first extra layer. Obviously George Martin's influence here. Harmonies at 0.54. The song becomes a rock song at 2.03 with electric guitars and heavier drumming. Still it sounds like a ballad. Strings at 2.52, very nice. Plus brass at 2.58. Well done, great song and nice transition into

Take It Away
Great drumming by Ringo here and he gets some time for the show at the very start. Paul singing along in the background at 0.03. Simple tho great little bass lick by Paul. George Martin on piano leads the band into a change of rhythm, which is happening all the time. The Linda driven harmonies make this song sound like Wings. Probably the direction Paul was heading for before the band broke up. Well produced song with great brass section once again. The end is a bit too long for my liking, with harmonies and all that. The brass makes it all alright.

Somebody Who Cares
Paul with an acoustic guitar will always sound great. Well sung and played and the production sounds very good as well, still this song doesn't really do it for me. The flute sound is a little pain in the ass at 1.35. Nice acoustic guitar solo tho, but there's that bloody flute once again.

What's That You're Doing
Paul's collaborations with Stevie Wonder are not amongst his finest moments as far as I'm concerned. This song, together with Ebony And Ivory, is most probably the weakest song on the album. It's far too long (6.18). Stevie's and Paul's voices are not matching nicely as well and Paul singing disco sounds strange as well. Still I like the chorus, which is catchy enough and has nice harmonies. Beatles reminiscing at 5.12 (We love you yeah yeah yeah).

Here Today
Paul redoing Yesterday, and not only with a wink in the title. As we all know, this song is dedicated to John Lennon and for that reason it deserves much credit. Pauls voice sounds like he could break any moment and that's a quality as well. What can I say? An awesome song but maybe the weight and symbolism of it makes it a little too much of it all. Always loved the cello starting at 1.21 and the violins at 1.36.

Ballroom Dancing
Great opener for side b. Paul's rocking out on this song. Nice honky tonk piano. Pauls voice in the highest registers at 1.26 gives the song a boost. He nearly misses it the second time round at 1.39. Once again great brass section playing the solo's from 1.55. Nice instrumental break starting at around 2.35 with a great trumpet lick. The magic of that break disappears with the start of another verse. Great song tho and a great end as well.

The Pound Is Sinking
Maybe the best song on the album. It's bits and pieces somehow, but it all fits well together. Instrumentation and arrangment are wonderful. Great string arrangment as well. Listen to the guitar coming in at 1.36. Great little details to pick up. Wonderful showcase of Pauls vocal possibilities at 2.13. Very very good song this.

Wanderlust
Paul at the piano. Sounds like a classic melody. Anyone who loves Let It Be will probably love this one as well. Once again well produced with a great overall sound. Drums a little too bombastic maybe; the style of the 80s. There's the brass section again at 1.33. All very fine, but not my piece of cake.

Get It
Funny little ditty with Carl Perkins. Like Stevie, Carl has a very distinctive voice that sounds much different than Paul's, but somehow this is a good match. Always liked the comb and paper-solo. Carls laughing at the end used to give me the shivers. I now know that it's harmless. ha2ha

Be What You See (link)
Carls laughing his way into this synth-driven link between song. Nothing more to say about it. I could have done without it, but probably Paul meant something with this that I don't see.

Dress Me Up As A Robber
The album's best song. Great powerful start, which used to be the tune of a tv-program over here in The Netherlands. Don't remember clearly if it was about sports or cars. Wonderful toms at 0.04. Pauls showing his different type of voices. Falsetto at the start with a funky guitar in the background. A really great bassline here. I absolutely dig the acoustic guitar solo (already) at 0.52. Pauls normal singing voice at 1.06, but it's still acrobatics for the vocals. Paul does a wonderful job here. Acoustic guitar still in the background. Nice interlude at 1.30, building the song up once again. Ah! That bass at 2.09!

Ebony And Ivory
The song spent some time at #1 worldwide, yet I have never met anybody who admits to like the song. This is one of those things to be a bit ashamed to be a Paul McCartney fan. It's not a bad song tho, but it's been done with the kind of sugar coating that makes your teeth fall apart. Paul and Stevie still don't really match with their voices. Typically early 80s sound with handclaps and keyboard solo. Cringe.

All in all, a really great album with The Pound Is Sinking and Dress Me Up As A Robber as the album highlights for me and the two duets with Stevie Wonder as the lows. Wonderfully arranged and produced.
« Last Edit: July 06, 2012, 12:30:39 PM by Bobber »
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Dcazz

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Re: Microscope: Tug Of War
« Reply #1 on: July 06, 2012, 12:06:08 PM »

I always liked this album!
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tkitna

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Re: Microscope: Tug Of War
« Reply #2 on: July 08, 2012, 11:44:04 AM »

One of Pauls better efforts. Looking forward to reviewing this one.

Toejam

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Re: Microscope: Tug Of War
« Reply #3 on: July 09, 2012, 07:57:46 AM »

I've amended my version of this album on my itunes taking out E&I which I didn't even install on my computer when I transferred all my c.d's to m.p3s and sold them all on ebay.
1-Tug of war-Not that great but o.k
2-Take it away-Very good song altogether and imo probably the last Paul song that comes close to his best work of days of yore
3-Somebody who cares-Sounds a bit like Spirit's Taurus inst. or put another way sounds a bit like Zep's Stairway to heaven and that lyric about your car being stolen doesn't fit but I quite like the song
4-What's that you're doing?-A nice funk work-out which gets quite catchy in parts and even sounds a bit futuristic at the start
5-Here today-Not too keen on this really. It's a bit of a flat tune
6-Ballroom dancing-Top quality toe-tapper with nice big juicy melody and a few little inovative moments and a fun lyric. Love it
7-The pound is sinking-My fav. song on the album and one that I loved from when I first heard it. The epitome of a fine album track.
8-Get it-A bit too generic old fashioned for me but as it's only 2'29 I'll try and like it
9-Be what you see (link)-I lovely moving dreamy little piece of music that could have been something really special if he'd developed it into something more
10-Dress me up as robber-Like The pound is sinking this is just the eptiome of a fine album track and I love it
11-Wanderlust-A lovely tune that works well as an album closer on my re-jigged version of this generally fine album.
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Bobber

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Re: Microscope: Tug Of War
« Reply #4 on: July 09, 2012, 11:34:48 AM »

Nice to see that The Pound Is Sinking and Dress Me Up As A Robber are your highlights too, Toejam. No opinion on Ebony And Ivory?
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Toejam

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Re: Microscope: Tug Of War
« Reply #5 on: July 09, 2012, 06:19:05 PM »


I've amended my version of this album on my itunes taking out E&I which I didn't even install on my computer when I transferred all my c.d's to m.p3s and sold them all on ebay.

« Last Edit: July 10, 2012, 08:03:52 AM by Bobber »
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Bobber

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Re: Microscope: Tug Of War
« Reply #6 on: July 10, 2012, 08:04:10 AM »

I've amended my version of this album on my itunes taking out E&I which I didn't even install on my computer when I transferred all my c.d's to m.p3s and sold them all on ebay.

I see. Well, that says it all!
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tkitna

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Re: Microscope: Tug Of War
« Reply #7 on: July 10, 2012, 09:43:47 AM »

I'll be posting my reviews either Wednesday or Thursday depending. I havent read any of this yet, but I will say that 'The Pound Is Sinking' is probably my favorite tune on the album. Has to do with a roadtrip to Maryland and a lot of dope.  ha2ha

tkitna

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Re: Microscope: Tug Of War
« Reply #8 on: July 13, 2012, 02:13:42 PM »

TUG OF WAR


Tug Of War - I guess the start is supposed to be the groaning of men in an actual tug of war contest, but I always associated it to a rowing for some reason. Oh well. It doesn’t bother me either way. Paul comes in with a nice acoustic guitar and singing. 0:35 light strings come in, but they sound processed to me. I could be wrong. 0:56  huge background vocals from a woman that isn’t Linda. This is a pretty song, but I admit that I usually always skip it. If there’s anything annoying about it would be the ‘pushing’ and ‘pulling’ background part. A bit cheesy. 2:05 the guitar and full band comes in and sounds nice. The harmonies are top notch. 3:00 love the trumpet that comes in. For a song I always considered to be my least favorite on the album, its pretty damn good.

Take It Away - I always liked this song. I think it gets a bad rap for some reason, because I’ve never seen it on one of his ‘Best Of’ compilations and I think it’s a worthy enough pop single for that. Anyways, it starts with Steve Gadd doing a funky tom rhythm under Ringo’s snare and hi-hat and then Paul comes in with some killer sounding bass and organ. Pauls voice sounds great. 0:32 the piano comes in strong and song picks ups. Very cool. 0:50 song settles into the chorus, but I have to say that Linda’s backgrounds are awesome. Did the studio help her along? Who cares. 1:14 huge brass when the song kicks back in. Great. Did I mention how awesome Pauls bass sounds? Well it does. I just think this is a wonderful pop tune. Good stuff.

Somebody Who Cares - I’ve always liked this one too. If I have an criticism, it would be that the song is a little thin in places, but its nice enough. The acoustic sounds great and the spooky, Indian spirit type background is pretty cool. The song settles into a nice jazzy ballad type tune. 1:05 I always hated the percussion thing in the background here. Should have left that out. 1:26 love the ride cymbal here. Tasteful. 1:46 the sound of that scratching guitar string blows me away, and then it goes into a sweet acoustic solo. I wonder who played that? Its beyond Paul in my opinion. I’ll look it up later. sh*t, it was Paul playing the guitar. I didn’t think he was capable enough to pull off something that clean. Kudo’s. Good song.

What’s That You’re Doing - Some 80’s type synth crap tune that should have been put on McCartney 2. It’s a Stevie Wonder collaboration. Its not awful I guess, but its just not my style. It has a decent beat and their voices sound good. Background vocals are nice. Good harmonization. A just alright song to me that’s too long.

Here Today - Pauls ode to John. I don’t like this song as much as everybody else. I seem to like everybody else’s tribute a little more. This feels forced to me for some reason.  The acoustic and strings sound really good and Pauls voice is good. This is a good song, but I guess I wanted a masterpiece since it was Pauls tribute. This song is not that, but its solid.

Ballroom Dancing - Love this song. The swirling piano, drums, and guitar start it off. What a fun atmosphere. Everytime I cap on Pauls drumming abilities, he comes out with something like this. Its nothing great, but it fit’s the song to a tee. I thought it was Ringo at first and had to check. Good stuff. 1:15 Paul double tracks his voice and has two different voices here. Awesome. 1:26 Paul screams ‘Ballroom Dancing’. Best part of the song. 1:52 background voice announces the beginning of the ballroom dancing contest with the Cha cha cha. Great brass and woodwinds. 2:25 love the break here. 2:56 lead guitar sounds awesome. Awesome song in my opinion. Not many people can write them like this.

The Pound Is Sinking - Probably my favorite song on the album. Starts off with dropping coins, acoustic and Paul singing. Electric guitar sounds great and powerful. Drums are deep and nice too. 0:57 love Pauls quirky voice in this part. Lead guitar sounds really good. 2:10 when Paul starts to scream here, it almost gives me goosebumps. This is the best part of the song and the part that blew me away when I took a trip to Maryland years ago and had this song blasting while I was driving and smoking a joint. Wonderful memory and wonderful song.

Wanderlust - Great paino intro. Sounds like something huge is about to happen. Its not quite huge, but its nice enough to me. Like Pauls voice and the drums. 1:10 dig the guitar here. Harmonies are top notch again as is the brass. 1:55 love how Paul questions himself here. Really like all of the different times during the album when Paul compliments himself with backing vocals of his own voice. That works well. This is a well crafted song. Love it.

Get It - I really like this song and I hate almost everything dealing with country styles of music. This boarders on blues and country, but it’s a nice play. Pauls voice is so smooth against Carl Perkins that it just does something for me. Just sounds like they are having fun and that takes away any negative vibes I have for the song. Nice number.

Be What You See (Link) - Like how Carl Perkins laugh blends into the beginning here. This is just a 35 second type of synth music piece. Its irrelevant.

Dress Me Up As A Robber - Funky, 80’s type song that causes me to picture a couple doing the tango on a cruise ship for some reason. Nice beat and Pauls falsetto vocals are cool. 0:50 great guitar solo. 1:06 Paul comes in with his normal voice and its awesome. Lots of stuff going on in this song. Guitars, brass, synthesizers, bass, drums, little percussion bits here and there. Pauls bass is melodic as hell on this song. Never really noticed that before. Great song. Better than I remembered it to be.

Ebony And Ivory - ***sigh***. One of those embarrassing moments to be a Paul fan. The message is good, but the song is so cheesy that its laughable. I think this might be the point where people quit respecting Paul as an artist. I don’t think he ever had another hit after this, did he? The song was so bad that Stevie Wonder couldn’t even be bothered to show up most of the time to record it. Oh well, it is what it is.


Have you ever noticed that Paul always seems to rebound after he puts out a crappy album? ‘McCartney’ and then ‘RAM’. ‘Wild Life’ then ‘Band On The Run’. ‘McCartney 2’ and then this one. Glad that he’s able to do that. This is a great album. George Martin seemed to reel him in some and the results show. This doesn’t crack my top 5 but its right there. Very little filler and most of the songs are strong and well written. Good stuff.

tkitna

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Re: Microscope: Tug Of War
« Reply #9 on: July 13, 2012, 02:29:10 PM »

Ebony And Ivory
This is one of those things to be a bit ashamed to be a Paul McCartney fan.

Ebony And Ivory - ***sigh***. One of those embarrassing moments to be a Paul fan.

 ha2ha

tkitna

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Re: Microscope: Tug Of War
« Reply #10 on: July 13, 2012, 02:30:56 PM »

Nice to see that The Pound Is Sinking and Dress Me Up As A Robber are your highlights too,

Yeah, great songs.

tkitna

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Re: Microscope: Tug Of War
« Reply #11 on: July 13, 2012, 02:32:21 PM »

Nice review Cor and Toejam. One of Pauls better records and we only got three reviews. Sad, but i'm afraid this is probably how its going to be for the remainder of his catalog.

Dcazz

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Re: Microscope: Tug Of War
« Reply #12 on: July 15, 2012, 12:39:51 PM »

Correct me if I'm mistaken but, isn't this the first album that Paul and George Martin teamed up for since the breakup!? That would account for the slick production. It's a very good solo Paul!
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tkitna

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Re: Microscope: Tug Of War
« Reply #13 on: July 16, 2012, 12:07:47 AM »

Correct me if I'm mistaken but, isn't this the first album that Paul and George Martin teamed up for since the breakup!? That would account for the slick production. It's a very good solo Paul!

I believe your correct Dcazz.

Yeshelloitsmehereagain

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Re: Microscope: Tug Of War
« Reply #14 on: July 16, 2012, 12:49:33 AM »

Oh this one, it's good and slick and I'll have it up soon. You can get on with the b-sides album and the soundtrack 'covers his own songs' album if you like.
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tkitna

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Re: Microscope: Tug Of War
« Reply #15 on: July 16, 2012, 02:49:26 AM »

Post up Ollie. I'm looking forward to reading your review.

Bobber

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Re: Microscope: Tug Of War
« Reply #16 on: July 16, 2012, 09:13:08 AM »

Nice review Todd and I already suspected us to think the same of Ebony And Ivory. We obviously have different opinions on Paul and Stevies voices get together. lol
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Bobber

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Re: Microscope: Tug Of War
« Reply #17 on: July 20, 2012, 01:57:03 PM »

Busy with Pipes Of Peace. It's a bit of a struggle.
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tkitna

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Re: Microscope: Tug Of War
« Reply #18 on: July 21, 2012, 11:57:18 AM »

Busy with Pipes Of Peace. It's a bit of a struggle.

Yeah, its awful.  I really, really want to use my previous review for this one, but its so half-assed i'm not sure I can. I feel this thread deserves better, but I dont want to listen to the damn album again.

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Re: Microscope: Tug Of War
« Reply #19 on: July 22, 2012, 05:28:22 PM »

Yeah, its awful.  I really, really want to use my previous review for this one, but its so half-assed i'm not sure I can. I feel this thread deserves better, but I dont want to listen to the damn album again.

There's two or three acceptable songs to my ears. I don't force you to listen to it. I did. ha2ha
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