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First listen: McCartney's "NEW" album

We've been seeing a lot of Paul McCartney lately. He popped up in New York City for a surprise mini-concert, appeared at a high school, and has been showing up on all the late-night shows to promote his new album, which is appropriately called, "New."

It turns out, the hype was deserved.

As a Beatle fan, I'm a pretty tough critic of post-Beatle performances by the four Fabs. And I haven't really been too keen on anything McCartney's done since "Band On the Run."

As I listened to the entire album for the first time, let me say this.  I was pleasantly surprised. The album had four different producers, so as you might imagine, the songs are quite varied. There's rock and roll, pleasant power pop, psychedelic trippiness, acoustic daydreaming..heck some of the songs even sound  Beatle-esque!

I think the album works the best when Paul does what he does best--power pop and rock and roll. The album starts out with a bang. The song "Save Us" has almost a rock anthem cinematic feel, akin to "Live and Let Die."

Since it is Paul McCartney, you'd imagine there would have to be some dorkiness in there somewhere, and that certainly is the case. But Paul is the kind of guy who'd write a lyric like this and be proud of it: "I need somebody who's a sweet communicator, who I can give my alligator to." That's in a song called "Alligator."

I found myself searching for Beatle references, and I found a few...maybe even more than were actually intended. In the song "On My Way to Work," he includes the line  "O-U-T spells out." Okay Beatle fans, where does that line come from? Ringo sings it on one of the Beatles Christmas albums, on the song "Christmas Time is Here Again."   How's that for obscure?

Paul does some looking back on the album, in the song "Early Days" about hanging out with John Lennon pre-Beatlemania. He doesn't get too mushy though, and that's a good thing.

The album's title song, which you may have heard on the radio, is a catchy little number that I also think may be about John: "One lucky day you came along, and made my life a song. One lucky day you came along, just in time, while I was searching for a rhyme."  Or it may be a love song to his new wife. I guess it doesn't matter.

It's no "Rubber Soul" or "Revolver," not even "Venus and Mars."  But "NEW" proves that one of the guys that changed music forever still has something to say, and with the help of four very different producers, he gets by with a little help from his friends. (Sorry, I couldn't resist.)

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons



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Locations : New York City
People : John LennonPaul McCartney


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10/14/2013 12:02PM
First listen: McCartney's "NEW" album
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10/15/2013 12:54AM
Thanks
Thanks for the review, Kitty. John may be my hero, but I still love Paul. I am really looking forward to picking this up.
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