As the Beatles were breaking up, Paul McCartney started doing some home recording, playing and singing everything himself. Those recordings became the 1970 album McCartney. He went on to form the band Wings and sell millions of albums. In 1980, as Wings were breaking up, he did it again, recording some songs at home that were a bit more experimental but still had the catchy melodies that marked his style. Those recordings became McCartney II, not because it was his second album—it wasn’t—but because it was his second album of at-home recordings in which he played practically everything himself.
So what do you do, if you’re Paul McCartney and you’re stuck at home during a pandemic? You start recording! Just as with McCartney and McCartney II, the recordings that make up McCartney III did not start out as an album but rather as just a way to keep busy when things were difficult.
At 78 years old, his voice, as well as his writing, is showing his age. In “Women and Wives,” for example, McCartney sings that “what we do with our lives / seems to matter to others.” It isn’t hard to see some of these songs as Paul passing on what he has learned over the years. McCartney continues his fascination with writing songs about family, home, and love, themes that were also present in McCartney I & II. As one of the architects of modern pop music, McCartney continues to make enjoyable albums. After almost sixty years of writing and recording, that is pretty remarkable. (Capitol Records)