Paul McCartney’s “New” is a return to legendary form

Ranked #150 in Gift Guide, #117,891 overall | Donates to Squidoo Charity Fund

Paul McCartney is a rock/pop/music legend. Period.

He was a Beatle and has created some of the best music of the past 50 years. However, in recent decades, his music, I would argue, has been kind of lackluster.

No more.

Instead of trying too hard to access or ignore his past, this time McCartney and his four producers (one of whom is the son of his Beatles-era and Tug of War producer George Martin) get it right. The songs nod to his Beatles-era output, but they don’t try to reproduce it. Rather, he draws on his own past and mixes it with plenty of current sounds. Even better, he shies away from the overproduction that has been known to mar some of his solo records.

It’s like he’s being influenced by himself, as a younger artist would be. Here’s the difference, though. He’s not a younger artist. He’s 71 years old (can you believe it!) and he was a Beatle. He is Paul McCartney: ace songwriter, fabulous bassist and multi-instrumentalist and melody master.

And can also totally rock out. The opening track, “Save Us” hits you with a blast of guitar and a vaguely Franz Ferdinand-esque sound. “Everybody Out There” and “Appreciate” do plenty of rocking, too, with the latter featuring some of that slide that showed up when McCartney created “Cut Me Some Slack” with Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselic of Nirvana. “New,” the single that’s been out for a while is a perfect slice of Beatlesque pop that my daughter remembers from its inclusion in “Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2.” She delighted in singing along with “wooo-oooh-ooh-oooh” of the chorus.

“On My Way to Work” is an odd combination of sadness infused with a hint of humor. “Road” is what I would best describe as a hybrid ballad — parts of it remind me a bit of late 70s/early 80s Peter Gabriel, which is different, but very awesome territory, for Paul. The ebb and flow of this one is magnificent.

And then there’s “Early Days.” McCartney sings The Beatles’ early history in this song, which features a much more ragged McCartney voice than you usually hear. He’s allowing something less than perfect spill from his mouth and that, along with the lyrics, make this song quite beautiful — it improves with every listen. In it, he addresses all those people who say they know The Beatles’ history. He’s not angry, but just matter-of-fact as he sings, “I don’t see how they can remember/when they weren’t where it was at,” and a few lines later, he reminds, “I lived through those early days.”

Only he and three other men really ever knew what those days were like and now only he and Ringo Starr remain. The ghosts of John Lennon and George Harrison fairly haunt this song, and that adds to the beauty, too.

In short, if you’re a Paul McCartney or Beatles fan, you will adore this album. Adore it. Trust me on this. (The first album I ever bought for myself was a British import copy of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. The Beatles looked at me from wall posters throughout my teen years in the 1980s — yes the 80s, not the 60s — and Paul was always my boy.) Trust me. You will love. I can’t stop listening. And neither will you.

"Wanderlust" from the Tug of War album. See if you think it's as amazing as I do. This version is from the film "Give My Regards to Broad Street," which is a terrible movie, but I love it, anyway. :) Recognize the drummer?

The single my daughter can't stop singing along with.

Another McCartney classic. Here it is, in all its glory, from the Wings Over America era.

So, what's your favorite Paul McCartney/Wings album?

  Show the poll results

You may also like...

Comments

What do you think of New? Let me know!

  • Follow
    Share to:
    Alert message
  • jeffersuan May 29, 2014 @ 2:20 pm
    I can't believe he's still making new music! I love how modern it sounds.
  • CarolHoule May 04, 2014 @ 6:22 pm
    What an incredible logo. Thanks for this. I was immediately drawn.
  • jaychubz Apr 10, 2014 @ 11:19 pm
    nice one
  • BrianS Apr 10, 2014 @ 2:00 pm
    Have to agree with you, loved the Beatles, not so keen on McCartney solo or in his own band. I haven't listened to 'New' yet but as we seem to have similar viewpoints I think I had better give it a go.
  • thegembank Apr 08, 2014 @ 11:17 am
    I missed the Band on the Run in the Poll and voted something else... but anyway, Paul Mccartney is one of the remarkable artist there is.
  • yogameditation33 Apr 08, 2014 @ 7:06 am
    Great lens :)
    Congratulations!
  • StephanieMangino11 Apr 07, 2014 @ 10:36 pm
    Thanks everyone for all the kind words!
  • bobnolley Apr 07, 2014 @ 9:10 pm
    Congrats on the LOTD! This topic (classic rock album/artist reviews) is one of my faves.
    Very well done!
  • Anonymous831 Apr 07, 2014 @ 7:36 pm
    I love it! Great lens.
  • DebMartin Apr 07, 2014 @ 7:32 pm
    Thanks for the amazing review.
  • rauspitz Apr 07, 2014 @ 5:32 pm
    Very good album. Congratulations on getting LotD!
  • kinworm Apr 07, 2014 @ 3:54 pm
    Congratulations on LOTD, Stephanie :) My husband is a big fan of his music.
  • rainingz09 Apr 07, 2014 @ 3:06 pm
    Great singer! Great songs! Great era!
  • miriamyentraccm Apr 07, 2014 @ 2:04 pm
    I bought NEW from Amazon right before it was released, and I LOVE it!
    I really like the Lens you've created! Very nice! Paul would be proud of you.
  • chrisshouse Apr 07, 2014 @ 12:57 pm
    Very interesting thank you for sharing..my era!
  • jsr54 Apr 07, 2014 @ 12:42 pm
    You sold me, I bought one!
  • StephanieMangino11 Apr 07, 2014 @ 10:36 pm
    So glad to hear. I hope you enjoy it as much as I have!
  • StephenJParkin Apr 07, 2014 @ 11:03 am
    I am not really familiar with it, but this review has raised my curiosity! Well done on the lens and LOTD.
  • partybuzz Apr 07, 2014 @ 10:32 am
    Love Paul McCartney! His music with the Beatles has always been my favorite...I guess since I was a teen when the Beatles were popular. Congratulations on LotD! Great review.
  • Merrci Apr 07, 2014 @ 10:23 am
    What a great review! Congratulations on Lens of the Day! I have to go listen to the videos now. Thanks!
  • mjogiyal Apr 07, 2014 @ 10:17 am
    Awesome
  • d-artist Apr 07, 2014 @ 10:06 am
    Congratulations on LOTD! Great review, nicely written...sounds like a great album....
  • RenaissanceWoman2010 Apr 07, 2014 @ 9:28 am
    I can't imagine how hard it would be for an iconic musician to keep finding the best of himself and his music when so many want him to be what he was once. I look forward to checking out this new release. Congrats on Lens of the Day!
  • esmonaco Apr 07, 2014 @ 5:06 am
    A wonderful review and, Congratulations on LOTD!!
  • tim-bader-982 Apr 07, 2014 @ 4:04 am
    I have to admit to being one of those who never really liked Paul McCartney or Wings, but was "ok" about the Beatles (sorry!).
    However, despite not being a fan, I do recognise the skill of a master song writer, even if it doesn't hit the spot for me.
    Your review was excellent and kept me reading to the end. Well done!
  • miriamyentraccm Apr 05, 2014 @ 8:53 pm
    Awesome review! I also love this new compilation of songs. "On My Way to Work" is just one of my favorites on this set!
  • StephanieMangino11 Apr 05, 2014 @ 9:28 pm
    Thanks! It is such a strong album -- I need to go back and revisit it -- it's about time. :)
  • mansfisa Mar 25, 2014 @ 6:00 pm
    Sweet!