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Sunday, 13 October 2013

Paul McCartney - New

Paul McCartney's last album of original material, Memory Almost Full had some mighty fine moments but it was something of a backward step after the originality of  the excellent Chaos and Creation in the Backyard. Well who would have thought it but Macca, always the most creatively restless Beatle, now delivers an album that is without a doubt the equal to Chaos. It's up there with the best Macca and as the enlightened people know the best Macca is mighty fine indeed.

The album kicks off with a rocker that could have come from Macca's mid-Wings period, it's got those gorgeous harmonies. The song is called Save Us - keep on sending your love, in the heat of battle we've got something that will save us - is a great album opener and is up-tempo with some catchy hooks running through it.

Alligator follows - I want someone to come home to, I need somewhere I can sleep, I need a place where I can rest my weary bones and have a conversation not too deep - and is a mid-tempo tune that sees the Macca knocking his many detractors. The song changes temp in the middle eight and becomes very Beatlish. Everybody else is busy doing better than me, Paul wails and you know what that's just not the case. Well not any more.

On my way to work - typical McCartney that sounds like something from the early 1970's and is a great track in which the Macca looks back at his early days. The song also features some of the great man;s best lyrics, Lines like - on my way to work I bought a magazine, inside a pretty girl liked to water-ski, she came from Chichester to study history, she liked to remove her clothes for me - flow seamlessly around the laid back vibe. On first listen I found this track to be a stand-out and no doubt it will become a classic.
He may look like Stan Laurel these days but the Macca still rocks

Queenie Eye, the fourth track, rocks using chants from childhood games the Macca creates an instant singalong anthem that will, no doubt, become a favourite of his live shows. This is a song that will have stadiums full of dudes and dudettes punching the air and head banging to the rhythm. Infectious shit, dude.

A country sounding guitar kicks off Early Days in which Macca once again sticks up two fingers to those who denied his massive contribution to the Beatles - I lived through those early days. This song could fit nicely onto Chaos and Creation, it's got that sound. Again an excellent track.

Then we have the title track which was also the lead single. New is a catchy piece of fluff which, I think is the weakest thing on the album. Mind you it's not a weak song by any means. It's just that the rest of the album is so damn strong. I like New but it's not as kick arse as the other songs on the album - though it's getting tons of radio play and, I guess, that's what a lead single is supposed to do. It's as commercial as hell and as catchy as the best McCartney pop.

Appreciate is something of an experimental piece but I think this track will grow on listeners. I've heard it maybe half a dozen times and like it more and more each time. The Macca's vocal is for the most part buried back in the mix and the track is led by a drum and bass rhythm. Maybe the most Fireman sounding track on the album.

And then we get Everybody Out There, a song that will make you cream with orgasmic pleasure. This is truly an excellent song in which Macca sounds very much like Beatle Paul and that's that Paul we all love the best. There for the grace of God goes you...and I. Again this track is something of an anthem and is another that will work well live. Check out the live performance below.

Hosanna comes up next and we're almost through the album now and there's not been a bad track and this song is no exception. It's a slow piece that gradually builds to a rich soundscape. It's a love song but it's certainly not a silly love song. There's also a stunning sounding Beatley section that could have come from the Magical Mystery era.

And we're rocking again for the excellent, I can Bet - another brilliant up tempo song that ticks all the right boxes. I think this song is another that could have come from Wings best period. Brilliant, rocking and awesome.

Looking at Her is a lush sounding track with a superb vocal performance from the Macca that makes him sound twenty years younger than he truly is. It's a brilliant catchy song that could do well as a single. It's certainly far more substantial than the title track.

Road is the final track on the basic album - there are several deluxe version with more tracks and maybe even in these too commercial times a super duper deluxe edition - and the track sees McCartney looking back at his Beatle days. We came from nowhere, hiding from the storm, we came together, to keep each other warm. I got a feeling it's gonna be alright. McCartney seems to be reflecting on the long road he's travelled and you know what many of us have been with him every step of the way.

New then is an excellent album with no filler at all and shows just what McCartney is capable of when he puts his mind to it. Is there anyone else in rock/pop music that can match him? There aren't many and on past achievements along McCartney stands head and shoulders above all others, and it's good to see him pushing the envelope once again.

Paul McCartney - nobody does it better.

1 comment:

Davieboy said...

Thanks, a review I know I can trust! Of course I love Macca whatever.
Ram On...