You're all right, I was a little hard on Fine Line - I actually like it too. I think just as the first thing I heard from CACTIB I remember thinking...where can the album go from here...?! Whereas now, in the overall context of such a great album, I love it. Fits in great and really does have a great chord progression. Always makes me smile. So sorry!
Picking up both the "Paul plugging the least wonderful song" thing and my friend Mr h atom
turning Japanese - one of Paul's most haunting and achingly beautiful songs in years was the Japan-only track from CACITBY, She's So Beautiful (Check it out on youtube if you haven't heard it!!). Why only Japan?! Why not lop off How Kind of you for the Japan disk and give us She's so Beautiful?! From a commercial viewpoint Why So Blue from MAF's deluxe disk would've been a critical success as a single. Great lyrics - great arrangement, great vocals, very modern yet confidently executed song. So he does make funny choices imho. And we shouldn't decide too much about the album based on the single.
As mr h atom said, singles take a lot of scrutiny. Especially as they are probably the only things the un-macca-converted will hear. I know I'm going to like whatever Paul puts on a disk - but I'd like the singles to be something strong that can withstand scrutiny from "outsiders"! He's so much more respected than he has been in years - I really hope this album gets him the credit he deserves.