Paul McCartney – New
To say that the world is in need of another Paul McCartney album would be a lie. However, with the magnificent success of David Bowie’s comeback seemingly giving the OK for old rockers to re-establish themselves within the current market, perhaps the release of Macca’s 17th studio album (24th including The Beatles and Wings) New will fall on more welcoming ears. In fact, the album itself is far greater than one might expect from someone who essentially has nothing left to prove.
Opening track Save Us is an interesting choice to start an album of mostly contemporary tunes. It comes across as a frantic blast of 80s pop that would be better suited to Bonnie Tyler than an aging Beatle, but it’s enjoyable nonetheless. Queenie Eye and title track New stand out as the two most effective pop tunes. They’ll appeal generously to music lovers old and new and will undoubtedly become festival favourites, thanks to their catchy sing-a-long choruses.
McCartney really finds his stride with the acoustic ballad Early Days, a song reflecting on his time with John Lennon and co. Wonderfully accompanied by Hosanna, it’s funny to think that with all the production work going into this album, McCartney is still at his best alone with a guitar. His voice is much less affected on these tracks, creaking and wobbling at just the right moments (bringing to mind Johnny Cash on his American anthology), making for a very comfortable listen.
With McCartney’s ability to write great pop music still intact, it’s a shame to mention the album’s downfalls, which unfortunately dampen the entire record. On My Way to Work, for instance, is a clumsy jaunt with McCartney sounding tired and frail, while the absurdly synthetic R’n’B tunes Appreciate and Looking at Her make Sir Paul look like he’s trying desperately to “get down” with what’s in.
New doesn’t really cover any uncharted ground but maintains itself as a delightful romp with a familiar voice. It will by no means set the world alight but it’s better than anything other current pop artists are delivering.
New was released on 14th October 2013. For further information or to order the album visit Paul McCartney’s website here.
Watch the video for Queenie Eye here: