But I didn't hate it either. While just about every song on the album was a leftfield choice (and not in a good sense, either), the vibe of the album was fantastic, and rose above the hokum factor.
That great vibe is even more prevalent on "Live Kisses", a "making of" show with live performances of many of the tracks from "Kisses on the Bottom" that premieres on PBS' Great Performances tonight.
While McCartney can often come across as overbearing, he seems sincerely committed to the project, and producer Tommy LiPuma's vision, throughout. Everyone involved -- even the jazzers -- are admittedly starstruck working with a Beatle, but McCartney's sincerity and obviously burning talent impress everyone while also putting them at ease.
In other words, this is a window into McCartney at work, and it's a smart and engaging one with, funnily enough, great performances. In fact, the live versions of the "Kisses" tracks offered here often surpass the released versions.
Stevie Wonder and Eric Clapton show up briefly (more of Clapton talking about the sessions for "While My Guitar Gently Weeps", please!), but the appearances are cameos and hardly a reason to watch this program.
Instead, watch this one for a window into serious musicians trying something new, out of their comfort zones, and mostly succeeding.
This article is copyright 2012 by Jeff Slate. No part may be reprinted or referenced without permission and/or attribution. All rights reserved.