February 15, 2012 at 05:00 AM EST

Kisses on the Bottom

Current Status
In Season
Paul McCartney
music label
Hear Music
We gave it an A

An aging rocker paging through the Great American Songbook: It’s a cash grab as old as its intended audience. But working here with jazz star Diana Krall and her band, McCartney, now 69, refreshes ”Bye Bye Blackbird” and Irving Berlin’s ”Always” like a cool spring breeze; Kisses on the Bottom might be his lowest-key effort since 1970’s McCartney, with mercifully little of the orchestral treacle we’ve grown to expect from the September-years standards set. It’s de-lovely. A

Best Tracks:
Sprightly It’s Only a Paper Moon
Charming original My Valentine

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