Generally favorable reviews - based on 31 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 26 out of 31
  2. Negative: 0 out of 31
Buy On
  1. Magnet
    Dec 18, 2013
    The pop hits sound as good as anything McCartney did with the Beatles, but it's the ballads that make this a winner. [No. 105, p.57]
  2. Dec 16, 2013
    Ultimately, it may not include anything that will endure as long as some of his Wings classics, let alone the Fabs’, but it’s a powerful and persuasive album from a man whose innate knack for melody is still firing.
  3. Mojo
    Nov 25, 2013
    What could have been a confused, trying-to-be-hip mish-mash is instead a re-playable collection of extremely strong songs, Paul's most interesting, varied and soul-baring in years. [Dec 2013, p.84]
  4. Nov 21, 2013
    "Save Us" could be a Strokes twister, while its LP bookend, closer "Road," summons no less than Blue Öyster Cult.
  5. Nov 19, 2013
    Even if it’s not McCartney’s most engaging record outright, New is a breath of fresh air for what could’ve been a frustrating sigh.
  6. Oct 31, 2013
    In general, you want McCartney, the least experimental Beatle (yes, including Ringo), to stick to what he does best. And on New, he mostly obliges, making it one of his better recent efforts.
  7. 65
    New probably won’t reverse the malaise that his public profile is slowly suffering in Britain, but it’s enjoyable fare all the same.
  8. Oct 18, 2013
    Occasionally glancing back while moving forward, McCartney sounds genuinely enthusiastic to be creating something new.
  9. 80
    Over 13 tracks, McCartney proves he’s a better Paul than 2007′s Memory Almost Full, a more romantic Paul than 2005′s Chaos and Creation in the Backyard, a more inventive Paul than 2001′s Driving Rain, and a more nostalgic Paul than 1997′s Flaming Pie.
  10. Oct 16, 2013
    While the songs on New don’t have the historical import or epic ambition of his best-known work, they also don’t have the same kind of flaws.
  11. Oct 16, 2013
    While the brave-faced, sunny music that defines the album's back half may be as contrived as his jolly public persona, it's the touches of humanizing anxiety that make New significant, revealing active signs of creative life.
  12. Oct 15, 2013
    For the most part it works, though McCartney never quite digs as deep as he did on the sturdy "Memory Almost Full" (2007), his last studio album of completely original material (or his adventurous 2008 side project as the Fireman, "Electric Arguments").
  13. Oct 15, 2013
    For a record sold on its modernity, New spends most of the time in the past.
  14. Oct 15, 2013
    Now 71, Paul has delivered his tightest album in years, confirming that the streak of goodness that began with Chaos and Creation in the Backyard wasn’t a fluke.
  15. Oct 15, 2013
    More than a sentimental journey, it's an album that wants to be part of the 21st-century pop dialogue.
  16. Oct 15, 2013
    New is no Abbey Road, but it is a remarkable album from the 71-year-old version of the man who has brought us decades of great rock ‘n’ roll songs.
  17. 75
    Sure, the lyrics are sometimes a little silly, and the musical hooks are sometimes a trifle too easy. But even at its worst, this is fun stuff.
  18. Oct 15, 2013
    New isn’t McCartney’s best record ever, but that’s a given. He made The White Album, for crying out loud. And Rubber Soul. And Ram. And McCartney. New isn’t bad, though; it’s actually pretty good.
  19. Oct 14, 2013
    The songs are full of contrasts. It’s easy to imagine Mr. McCartney gathering his favorite phrases from assorted works in progress and challenging himself to pull the miscellanies together.
  20. Oct 14, 2013
    While there are a few silly love songs in the batch, some of us still haven’t had enough.
  21. 70
    New is the sound of an old dog having fun with some old tricks.
  22. Oct 14, 2013
    New is one of the best of McCartney's latter-day records: it is aware of his legacy but not beholden to it even as it builds upon it.
  23. 60
    There's an uneven texture to the project. It's okay, but only just.
  24. Oct 14, 2013
    Like that of some of his illustrious contemporaries from the 1960s, Paul McCartney's new music needs to perform a move of such complexity that it would be more at home in yoga: looking forward, while looking back, while remaining relevant. It's decidedly difficult to pull off, this move, and New, McCartney's 16th studio album, almost does it.
  25. Oct 14, 2013
    Tinged with nostalgia, the songwriter has made a record that sounds contemporary but not desperately so, one that suggests his work with the Beatles but not reductively so.
  26. 80
    New proves that inspiration is not a problem for Paul McCartney, who shows both his contemporaries and the youngsters alike how to make rich music while swinging for the cheap seats.
  27. Oct 10, 2013
    This album proves his talent is timeless.
  28. Oct 10, 2013
    At its worst, on Everybody Out There, this desire [for contemporaneity] manifests itself in thumpy post-Mumford faux-folk and Coldplay-style massed "woah-oh" vocals.... At the other extreme, there are moments when McCartney has clearly allowed his younger producers to push him into areas that are intriguing rather than infuriating.
  29. Uncut
    Oct 9, 2013
    [Working with four young producers] isn't necessarily an ideal recipe for coherence, but [Giles] Martin--the producer of the music for Love, Circue du Soleil's Beatles show, and for the Rock Band video game--keeps it under control.... with each song treated as an individual entity and allocated its own musical resources. [Nov 2013, p.64]
  30. Oct 9, 2013
    This range of styles on New could have been distracting if not for the material’s solid foundations, spontaneous energy, and frequent naked emotions.
  31. 91
    New is as apt an album title as you'll find: Not only does it announce McCartney's first batch of original songs in six years, it also celebrates the idea that pop music can still invigorate, inspire, and surprise--even if you had a hand in inventing it.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 93 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 21
  2. Negative: 1 out of 21
  1. Oct 15, 2013
    An excellent offering from the aging rocker that proves he is still able to produce enjoyable and relevant music. The album contains anAn excellent offering from the aging rocker that proves he is still able to produce enjoyable and relevant music. The album contains an eclectic mix of styles, with some songs having a more contemporary feel than what we are used to from McCartney. Nevertheless, the album as a whole gels together well and is a great overall experience. Full Review »
  2. Oct 16, 2013
    A modern classic from a silver-age hero, McCartney completely redefines what a "latter-day album" is with NEW. The album starts off with theA modern classic from a silver-age hero, McCartney completely redefines what a "latter-day album" is with NEW. The album starts off with the driving alt-rock of "Save Us" and continues to explore numerous styles throughout, both old and new. From the stoner rock trudge of "Alligator" and the Arcade Fire meets Coldplay singalong "Everybody Out There" to the reflective "Early Days," Sir Paul does it all. Yet, somehow the album still fits together unbelievably well as a whole. NEW is one of Paul's hardest rocking (albeit in a modern way) efforts in years, yet the record also contains some of his strongest ballads in a long time. The aforementioned "Early Days" sees Paul looking back on his Beatles day with a voice of maturity that the aging singer had previously not been able to accept.. "Queenie Eye" is undeniably one of the Beatle's most unique, yet classic, singles in a long time, much like the album's title track. Oh, also, make sure you stick around for the hidden track--it's a heartbreaker. Full Review »
  3. Oct 15, 2013
    I think he did exactly what he meant to: he unpretentiously created a "new" album using "new" techniques. Some of the production, hookI think he did exactly what he meant to: he unpretentiously created a "new" album using "new" techniques. Some of the production, hook patterns and everything else sounds generic, but with Paul's unique style of spelling out his moods and feelings. Overall a great album. Full Review »