New - Paul McCartney
User Score
8.3

Universal acclaim- based on 78 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 71 out of 78
  2. Negative: 5 out of 78

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  1. Oct 15, 2013
    9
    An 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.
  2. Oct 15, 2013
    10
    I 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.
  3. Oct 16, 2013
    9
    A 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. Expand
  4. Oct 19, 2013
    0
    I agree with lenny68 100%. It is a very forgettable album that does not have a single track that stands out among the rest. Which is actually very disappointing considering how great of a song writer Paul can be. For example, There is a song called On my way to work on the album that was not only very literal but also very stupid. I expected far better.

    Overall, Did not care for it.
    Just a generic album that simply fails to stick out and yet it gets praise because it's made by McCartney. I bet if he recorded an album full of fart noises that he would win a grammy for it. Expand
  5. Oct 16, 2013
    4
    As a Beatles {and to a lesser extent McCartney} fan, it pains me to say it, but this is a very bland and forgettable album in my opinion. I haven't heard anything that stands out or will stand up to repeated listening.
  6. Oct 15, 2013
    8
    It's disappointing to see that McCartney went for a more modern approach to this album. It's a decent album, but does not meet the expectations that follow from previous masterpieces.
  7. Oct 18, 2013
    9
    Dare I say it, Paul McCartney might have reinvented himself yet again, after a few lackluster albums. I have to catch myself over and over again while listening to this record because I keep forgetting that I'm listening to a McCartney album (and I mean that as both a compliment and as someone who's quite an enormous Beatles and McCartney fan). This album makes me incredibly excited for what Paul has in store for us on the live circuit. I've seen him live 6 times (3 times from the first 20-25 rows) and he never fails to impress, but I have a feeling he might reinvent large portions of his live show for the tour to support this record.

    Absolutely excellent. Paul at his best in many years, since I think he's actually trying to challenge himself again. That said, the sadness that I feel when I listen to this is when I think about what Paul might have done creatively, had John--his perennial challenger--and George (the soul of the group) lived and the four had reconciled (which I believe they would have by this point). The creativity would have, I think, been absolutely unparalleled. In any case, this is a thoroughly enjoyable listen and I give Paul kudos for putting it out.
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  8. Jan 3, 2014
    10
    Paul is the only king of Pop, Paul is Pop New is a great album, an amazing collection of happy songs, except the wonderful and sensible "early days".
  9. Jan 6, 2014
    7
    A very pleasant surprise. Sir McCartney creates a rock album that's both classic and contemporary. My favorite is the title track. It brought many beautiful memories of the years when i was discovering the music of The Beatles and The Beach Boys for the first time. There are also many other catchy tracks in here. A great listening experience.
  10. Feb 26, 2014
    0
    Not a single song on here is worth listening to. Sure, Paul McCartney experiments on some songs, but it just sounds bad overall. Nice effort, but the songs just weren't well written. Then there's some obligatory Beatles' rip-off songs. And all the rest are mainly forgettable. Some of the songs have potential, but then they either go nowhere or go in a negative direction.

    This guy
    just puts out these albums to make money. And critics are too afraid to bash his new music for what it really is: garbage. In fact, McCartney as a solo artist was never very good. His albums were always pretty lame, but with a few absolute standouts.

    Lennon was the one with the better solo career. And I think he'd be rolling in his grave at the music McCartney is making currently. They certainly weren't getting along towards the end anyways in terms of liking each other's songs. So, I doubt he would like what he's doing now.
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  11. Jan 27, 2014
    10
    I wonder how long it will take others to come to the conclusion I've come to. His best solo work to date, these songs can stand alongside his Beatles work. A lot of his solo stuff comes across like just fluff, like he was just enjoying himself in the studio, just jerkin' it, not really having any balls or making a commitment,so much of it is catchy, but empty and forgettable. Some other works like Chaos and Creation in the Backyard and Tug of War were very self-consciously created as self-important, grandiose Beatlesque statements as if to say "Now I'll show those critics!" But they're stilted, C and C is terminally restrained and sounds like McCartney taking his medicine. Tug of War sounds like all over-produced genre exercises. This is the first piece of work he's done that combines the exuberance, the commitment, and some balls, plus inspiration. Every song sounds perfect, full-bodied, 3-dimensional and organic, but spontaneous. It may take a while for people to catch on, but it's a full-blown masterpiece. Expand
  12. MES
    Oct 21, 2013
    9
    Upfront: I'm not a huge McCartney fan. Much of his work is indulgent and flabby, IMHO. That said, after about 10 listenings of his new offering, here's my take: this is Macca's best solo album.......ever. His use of young producers have pushed his envelope and the production quality ranks amongst his best. But the bottom line is that the songs are just GOOD. It has at least 4 top-10 hits: Save Us is a driving rocker with a great message, Queenie Eye is a catchy up-tempo song that has a lot of fun for Beatle fans, New is almost insufferably upbeat but it works and Everybody Out There is the perfect Springsteen-esque crowd pleaser. Actually, the latter really does sound like the Boss leading his cleansing revival sermon with 40,000 parishioners. The other songs are often quite good; some elements of Fireman merged with some Let It Be sermons. On My Way to Work and Early Days are contemplative ones. Hosanna and Looking At Her celebrates Love. There really isn't a weak cut on the album even though some aren't quite as infectious as others and Appreciate gets a bit worn out after a few listens. Bottom line: Good on ya, Paul. A job very well done. Heck of a lot better than the critics' over-inflated expectations. Expand
  13. Dec 12, 2013
    8
    Pretty much any genre or style Paul has been known for is here, from energized garage rock with great distorted riffs (“Save Us”) to tender ballads (“Hosanna”, “Looking At Her” & “Scared”) to the upbeat power pop that dominates most of this album (“I Can Bet”, “Queenie Eye”, “Everybody Out There” & “Turned Out”). The title track is probably one of my favorite songs of the year. It's a perfect pop song that to me almost sounds like a Sgt. Pepper outtake. The lyrics are simple & relatable while staying genuine & never coming off lazy or pandering, and it's all surrounded with instantly catchy melodies. That sentence could be a good descriptor for a lot of these songs, but it especially applies to this one. There's a lot of diversity on this album, and an impressive amount of experimentation. "Appreciate” delves into the world of electro-pop in a way that somehow feels completely natural for him. “Hosanna” updates the psychedelia from Revolver with manipulated, backmasked & looped sitar parts & a thick coating of reverb. “Looking At Her” is a sweet drum machine-powered ballad that builds fantastically into the chorus, which adds some nicely toned buzzing synths & guitar leads. There are also some little electronic touches sprinkled throughout the album in the form of drum production that shifts mid-song or the occasional catchy synth line that can really add a lot. Of course Paul never strays too far from the pop formula or does anything that'd alienate old fans too much, but it's incredible that an artist that's been writing music for more than a half century can continue putting out creative & interesting content.

    While the lyrics are never bad or even boring, it's pretty easy to tell that the music got much more of a change than what's being sung over it. They pretty much all center around love, mostly in a happy way. But it's delivered in such a charming way that you can't help but believe Paul when he sings certain lines that in the hands of some other singers might come off overly basic or lacking in distinct personality. And the fact that he, a 71-year-old man, can pull off the playful & vaguely sexual flirts in “I Can Bet” so well is just baffling. He can get outside this comfort zone sometimes though, with equally good results, on tracks like “On My Way to Work”, "Appreciate" or "Everybody Out There". Honestly the only real misfire on the standard edition of this album, in my opinion, is “Early Days”. I didn't mind it too much at first since it at least sounded pretty, but when I started actually reading along with the lyrics I got a bit annoyed. Outside the great jab at obsessed Beatles “historians”, it just seems like pandering to the old fans. It doesn't offer much in the way of insight & to me is a bump in the road for an otherwise very forward-thinking collection of tracks. I would've at least exchanged it in the track list for the great bonus track “Turned Out”, which actually approaches the topic of reminiscing in a much much interesting way. Also the bonus tracks “Get Me Out of Here” & “Struggle” really rubbed me the wrong way for just feeling sloppy, either in the production or vocal delivery, though you can't fault bonus tracks too badly. They're really the only blemishes on an otherwise fantastic piece of work.

    I knew I'd at least like New but my expectations were still exceeded, mostly by the stylistic ambition & diversity. Since there are a few songs I don't like I can't rate it in the 90's, but it's still a great album from a man that no longer needs to prove himself, but still does out of his love for the music. And I can't have enough respect for a musician like that.

    Top 5 tracks: New, Appreciate, Save Us, I Can Bet, Looking At Her
    Score: 88/100
    (For a longer review go to my Facebook page "That Non-Elitist Music Fan".)
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  14. Oct 19, 2013
    9
    You could say that I am a die-hard Macca fan and upon listening through the whole album, I am quite pleased. Here we see that Sir Paul, not only still has terrific songwriting capabilities, but he also still sounds as good as he did when he was younger. A great 'comeback' album after 6 years of releasing his previous one. Is it perfect? No. But it certainly is close. 9/10
  15. Nov 12, 2013
    9
    On the surface, working with multiple producers on one album does not sound like the best idea. But Paul McCartney makes it work here. Each song is different in their own way, but they all come together in one enjoyable package. Queenie Eye and New are standout tracks, both reminiscent of his Beatles days. On My Way to Work and Save Us are also two of my favorites. (And normally I don't buy deluxe editions, but I made an exception in this case. The bonus tracks are worth it.) Expand
  16. Nov 26, 2013
    8
    It's a great! I think it's a best Paul McCartney's album of the 21 century. When i was listened to the single "New", i understood this! Looking forward to his new record!
  17. Oct 24, 2013
    9
    Very enjoyable album, which holds up on multiple listens. I like that he's mixing it up, using fresh techniques and producers. The album has more focus and energy than anything since Flaming Pie, yet with no real "duds"...even I Can Bet, which I don't really love, or the cliched Everybody Out There have a bit of an ear worm effect on you. I really really like Alligator and Queenie Eye, two very strong tracks. Here's hoping on future tours he actually plays some of this stuff...would be interesting to hear something like "Early Days" rather than Let it Be for the 100th time. Expand
  18. Oct 16, 2013
    8
    The album title says it all. McCartney's first original outing in six years proves to be classic Macca while incorporating different sounds and styles from four different producers. At its worst, the album's lyrics become overly droll (see "On My Way to Work"), but at its best, McCartney's hooks prove to be forever unfailingly and head-bobbingly fun.
  19. Mar 4, 2014
    9
    What can you say to promote the album if not that is a Paul McCartney one? One of the best rock/pop album of 2013, it is filled with everything macca can do best: great lyrics, excellent scores! Sir Paul at his best!
  20. Oct 18, 2013
    9
    This is a FUN McCartney album like the ones he used to make. It's working title could have been McCartney III as it reminds me of it with its electronic bits. McCartney has finally blended his finely crafted ballads and pop songs with Fireman-styled modern music, giving us a varied and interesting album. I rate it as good as Chaos in the Backyard but more fun like Band on the Run. Only a couple of duds here.
    love his signature Casino lead guitar work and simple but effective drumming here. not crazy about the electronic sound effects ending many of the songs.
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  21. Oct 19, 2013
    6
    Easily his best batch of songs in a good 15 years, even though it sounds like an old man reminiscing about the early days, well, that's because it is. Why does he sound like Herbert the Pervert?
  22. Dec 11, 2013
    9
    For someone who has been there and done that as much as McCartney it is always refreshing to see him not resting on his laurels. The album is as good as his best work through the first half hour and only starts to wobble a little bit in the last 15-20 minutes. Of course at this point in his career he is not going to get any big hits and any new younger fans are more likely to come via them discovering his back catalog.

    To the big Macca fans there is plenty here to love, to the casual and indifferent fans, it will be as enjoyable as any of his mainstream albums of new material have been in the last 20 years, and to the haters there is nothing here that will spark much else than more hate. But Paul is Paul. He makes the music he wants to make, His lyrics are sometimes telling, sometimes simply window dressing. His music is highly melodic and his instrumentation and studio production still inventive.

    This album will never be the album that he is defined by as an artist, but for someone that is now over 50 years in the limelight, for him to be putting out an album that is truly NEW, and it still stands up this well not only compared to what is going on in contemporary music, but compared to his own precedents is amazing.
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Metascore
77

Generally favorable reviews - based on 31 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 26 out of 31
  2. Negative: 0 out of 31
  1. Dec 18, 2013
    80
    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
    80
    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. Nov 25, 2013
    80
    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]