Paul McCartney “New”

Rarely do I review such mainstream stuff, but when it comes to Sir Paul I couldn’t help myself. I just wanted to know if he could still pull out some of that old Beatle magic. I wasn’t keen on his standards LP Kisses on the Bottom, so I was expecting something closer to my tastes.

With the stigma of ageism gone from rock n’ roll, the 71 year old Beatle works with four different producers (Mark Ronson, Ethan Johns, Paul Epworth and Giles Martin) in an effort to sound “new” but still tinted with sweet nostalgia. The title track certainly does this, a sing-along crowd pleaser with a Beach Boys coda. Paul’s melodic gift still holds up with nice bass guitar lines of “Alligator” and “On My Way To Work” which recalls his time with Wings. “Early Days” is a predictable look back and the ballad “Looking At Her” is another signature Macca love song.

One caveat is that his voice is really starting to show its age, like fellow septuagenarian Brian Wilson he needs a little help from his (studio technician) friends.  And for every polished gem like “Queenie Eye,” you get filler like “Appreciate” with its forced hip hop beat or the overly glossy production on “Save Us.” This isn’t going to stop fans from rushing out to grab this, and it’s nice to know that the old dog is trying some new tricks. The good stuff easily outnumbers the lame stuff, and my favorite here “Turned Out,” proves beyond a doubt that Paul is back. So enjoy him while he’s still here making music.

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