Believe it or not, Paul McCartney has released a new studio album. The album, New, is McCartney’s first album since last year’s Kisses On The Bottom, which saw McCartney taking on American standards. So this makes New McCartney’s first studio album of all original material since 2007’s Memory Almost Full. McCartney, now 71, has made an album that sounds very modern but also reminiscent of his work with the Beatles, Wings and his solo career.
For this album, McCartney decided to do something interesting: for each song, they are produced by either one of four producers- Giles Martin (son of Beatles producer, George Martin), Ethan Johns, Mark Ronson and Paul Epworth. This is an interesting move for McCartney since it’s not common for someone like him to have multiple producers. Still, the final product is impressive.
The album opens with “Save Us”, a fuzz guitar-driven rock song. The song is pretty catchy while McCartney sounds fine. It’s no lie: McCartney’s voice has seen better days but for what he can pull off at his age is remarkable. “Alligator” is a bouncy track with slightly whimsical lyrics while a song like “On My Way To Work” is somewhat autobiographical. “On my way to work/I rode a big green bus” McCartney sings. “I could see everything/From the upper deck/People came and went/Smoking cigarettes.” The acoustic dominating “Early Days” is another autobiographical song, in which McCartney recalls the days of his youth with his “hair slicked back with Vaseline” and visiting the local record shops.
Even at 71, McCartney still delivers with great pop songs. “Queenie Eye” is very catchy bopping pop tune as is the self-titled track, which is the lead single from the album. The latter is a personal favorite; as it sounds surprisingly much like something the Beatles would’ve done in the mid to late 1960s (“Penny Lane” comes to mind). “I Can Bet” yet another catchy tune that sounds like something he would’ve made with Wings except modernized with voice effects and electronics. McCartney even knows how to end an album with class- the piano line in “Road” brings back memories of the piano heard in “Nineteen Hundred Eighty Five” from Band On The Run. There’s even a hidden track called “Scared”, similar to how “Her Majesty” is a hidden track from Abbey Road.
New is a surprisingly good album from Paul McCartney. I’m quite impressed. I would go as far to saying this is his first solid album since 2005’s Chaos and Creation in the Backyard, in which all of the songs are good. If you’re a fan of McCartney, I don’t see why you shouldn’t have the album already.