There comes a time in every music critic’s life when it becomes necessary to admit that your reaction to a new Paul McCartney single is,”What the hell is this shit?” Sometimes, hindsight shows that said critical reaction was wrong; after all, critically hated albums such as McCartney, Ram, Back To The Egg, and McCartney II are now not only respected more, but they are revered as being some of the former Beatle’s greatest work.
This particular number, however, will never be one of them.
McCartney has, until this point, been keenly aware of what is going on around him, both creatively and socially, even if he doesn’t specifically address the times. So to hear him write a song about meeting a girl for the first time, and declaring “I just wanna fuh you” is downright creepy. Paul McCartney as dirty old man, and releasing this song in the era of the Me Too movement? Tone deaf… simply tone deaf. Don’t get me wrong; innuendo can be fun, and a clever double entendre can be absolutely genius. But this particular song is about as subtle as Benny Hill feeling up a woman and then chasing her around the park.
(Sidebar: Yes, I am aware that the particular lyric in question ”officially” reads as “I just want it fuh you,” which ties back to the previous verse of him declaring he wanted to steal for her. However, it is absolutely obvious that his choice of words and pronunciation mean to say what they say, and no amount of weaseling out of it could possibly be acceptable.)
What makes this horribly cheesy lyric even more upsetting is that aside from that one line and the title, the song itself is a fantastic Paul McCartney pop song. Comedy is hard, and Paul once had a masterful partner who could write amazingly clever lyrics. Yet it is in that cleverness McCartney falters; instead of sounding clever, it sounds incredibly cringe-worthy. I certainly hope he doesn’t think the naughty play on words makes him sounds cool; it doesn’t, and I never thought “rapey” would be the word I would use to describe a song by Sir Paul McCartney. I just hope he doesn’t die before the new album comes out; embarrassing dreck like this has a tendency to be an artist’s unfortunate final statement.
If only Sir Paul could be as clean as his grandfather…