- Summary: The first release of new solo material in six years from the former Beatle includes production from Paul Epworth, Ethan Johns, Giles Martin (son of Beatles producer George Martin), and Marc Ronson.
- Record Label: Hear Music / Virgin EMI
- Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Contemporary Pop/Rock, Album Rock
- More Details and Credits »
MojoNov 25, 2013What 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]
UncutOct 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]
Jan 27, 2014I 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 hisI 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
Oct 15, 2013I 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.… Expand
Oct 21, 2013Upfront: I'm not a huge McCartney fan. Much of his work is indulgent and flabby, IMHO. That said, after about 10 listenings of his newUpfront: 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
Oct 16, 2013A 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.… Collapse
Oct 15, 2013It's disappointing to see that McCartney went for a more modern approach to this album. It's a decent album, but does not meet theIt'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.… Expand
Dec 12, 2013Pretty much any genre or style Paul has been known for is here, from energized garage rock with great distorted riffs (“Save Us”) to tenderPretty 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
(For a longer review go to my Facebook page "That Non-Elitist Music Fan".)… Expand
Feb 26, 2014Not a single song on here is worth listening to. Sure, Paul McCartney experiments on some songs, but it just sounds bad overall. NiceNot 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.… Expand
Awards & Rankings
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|1971-1981 [Box Set] - Cluster|
|You Will Never Be One of Us - NAILS|
|Coloring Book [Mixtape] - Chance the Rapper|
|Centres - Ian William Craig|
|Close to the Noise Floor: Formative UK Electronica 1975-1984 [Box Set] - Various Artists|
|Vile Child - Milk Teeth|
|A Moon Shaped Pool - Radiohead|
|Upland Stories - Robbie Fulks|
|Puberty 2 - Mitski|
|Hollowed - Ital Tek|
|A Sailor's Guide to Earth - Sturgill Simpson|
|Love & Hate - Michael Kiwanuka|
|Strange Country - Kacy & Clayton|
|This Is Where I Live - William Bell|
|Nerissimo - Teho Teardo|
|Misadventures - Pierce the Veil|
|untitled unmastered. - Kendrick Lamar|
|Stranger to Stranger - Paul Simon|
|blackSUMMERS'night (2016) - Maxwell|