Made during what McCartney dubbed “rockdown”, last year’s DIY album McCartney III proved both playful and resilient; a timely antidote to the stifled, existential mood of the Covid era. “Curated” by himself, McCartney III Imagined is a classy set of remixes from assorted studio alchemists that allows Macca to experiment further by proxy. There are predictable hits (Beck’s dance-friendly Find My Way), a surprise miss (Damon Albarn lost in the mists of Long Tailed Winter Bird), and arresting successes (3D of Massive Attack with a 10-minute makeover of Deep Deep Feeling, from squelching house beats to long, shimmering fade).
It seems wrong to lose vocals from a richly sung album, especially when a sharpy such as Pretty Boys – a smiling dig at boy bands – is sacrificed by Khruangbin for routine disco. Better to enhance what’s there, as Anderson .Paak does on the pastoral stroll of When Winter Comes, while Josh Homme adds teeth to Lavatory Lil, a daft title for a savage song. Dominic Fike entwines his own voice with Macca’s wails for a strutting R&B take on The Kiss of Venus, and St Vincent frames the ruminations of Women and Wives with celestial rumbling. III’s bright, younger sibling album.