Legendary Paul McCartney maintains his status
Published: Wednesday, October 16, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, October 16, 2013 23:10
If there’s one artist today whose appeal and musical sensibilities have truly stood the test of time, its Paul McCartney. The 71 year old rockstar is fresh off of a spectacular 2012, a year which saw the ex Beatle headline the Opening Ceremony of the London Olympics as well as the release of his smash hit single “My Valentine” and subsequent album “Kisses on the Bottom”, not to mention a recent marriage.
“New”’ Sir Paul’s 2013 follow up album represents a return to the artist’s roots, both literally and figuratively. Many of the albums songs feature lyrics alluding to Paul’s days before the “Beatles” became world famous, while from a stylistic perspective, many tracks on the album sound similar to many songs from the latter “Beatles” catalog including “Abbey Road”, “Revolver”, and “Sgt. Pepper”. However at the same time, McCartney has chosen to give some tracks in particular a hip hop esque treatment that stand as a disappointing failure for a musician who has found great success in a large variety of rock ‘n’ roll music, classical and pop standards.
“Save Us,” “Appreciate,” and “Queenie Eye” represent the worst of this new innovation. McCartney’s vocals don’t lend themselves well to a hip-hop style. Ignoring the fact that the melodies of these songs are largely forgettable and uninspired, these just aren’t the types of tunes one would expect in a Paul McCartney album. It’s not a good fit and detracts from what is otherwise a solid and well-produced experience.
An epic over seven minute track titled, “Road,” serves as the album’s finale. It is the lone exception to the criticism directed above. The first half of the song incorporates modern beats in a brilliant way that is contrasted with the song’s piano solo finale.
“Alligator” and “On My Way to Work” feel reminiscent of Paul’s Beatles work and serve for some good-old easy listening.
“Early Days” is similar to the two above mentioned but features some really cool electronic music solos that provide a truly unique sound.
“New,” the titular track from the album and probably the biggest highlight, was previously released as a single. McCartney’s vocals shine on this track, which for some reason reminded me of a less energetic version of “Ob-La-Di Ob-La-Da.” “Hosana” follows suit with a similar style.
“Everybody Out There,” “I Can Bet,” and “Looking at Her,” each feature significant guitar usage and are very reminiscent of later “Beatles” songs. Far from more of the same, these songs stand on their own and provide some of the album’s most entertaining tracks.
Defying his age once again, with “New,” Sir Paul McCartney has proved yet again that he can still manage to jam with the very best of them. Ignoring a few songs that feel out of place and miss the mark, the majority of the album consists of solid efforts from the music legend. If you’re a fan of McCartney, this is one album you won’t want to pass up.