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Don’t Forget the Songs-365: Mach Tres: Day 106
Wed. May 15, 2013

“A Certain Softness”
Paul McCartney

2005

“♫ A
certain
softness
in her
eyes
fascinates
me
♫”

Way before Paul McCartney recorded his heartfelt Valentine standards on 2012’s Kisses on the Bottom, Macca went romantic on this very luscious acoustic lovely, “A Certain Softness.” This sweet little number from Chaos and Creation in the Backyard always reminded me of a 2005 update of 1989’s Flowers in the Dirt’s “Distractions.” Featuring the tenderest of acoustic guitar work by Hamish Stuart and a lovely laid back Latin flavor that’s so irresistible, this Flowers gem is definitely worthy of your listening “Distractions.”

Fast forwarding back to 2005, while on vacation in Greece, Macca crafted “A Certain Softness” by taking “Distractions” Spanish flavor into a more old fashioned, vintage sound as McCartney explained in John Blaney’s Lennon & McCartney: Together Alone, “It’s just sort of all the love songs that I’ve heard and the ones that I love, cos I love a lot of old fashioned stuff, it’s just so well crafted.”

Macca admitted he was inspired by more of his love of romantic standards when he said, “I have a lot of influences from before my time, before my Dad’s time even, you know? People like Fred Astaire, people like that I listen to and love, really the craft behind it all; so sometimes all that just floods in and becomes a new song.” You have to admire the lyrical craftsman that is Paul McCartney. Besides, Brian Wilson, how many modern day songwriters admit to being inspired by artists like Gershwin and Nat King Cole?

Paul defended his love of love songs while explaining to The Miami Herald how Nat King Cole inspired the feel behind “A Certain Softness” when he said, “I like love, so I like love songs. I like romance. I like to listen to songs that talk about that and that contain those kinds of feelings. I’m a great Nat King Cole fan. I like to think of myself a bit in that tradition.”

While Paul McCartney will be remembered for his classic 60’s love songs like “Yesterday,” and “Maybe I’m Amazed,” its modern day Macca songs that don’t receive the love like his more celebrated lyrical counterparts. We cannot forget that Paul is still making music and there are some magical moments that Macca has penned in the last twenty five years as a solo artist. One of my favorites is 1989’s “Distractions” which lead to the Creation of Backyards’ “A Certain Softness.” If you’re a lover of Paul McCartney’s love songs, you need to rediscover this jewel. Mirroring the old romantic that is Paul McCartney, wrap your ears around “A Certain Softness,” you will definitely fall for this lovely post modern standard with a touch Paul’s well fashioned heart.

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