Last October, Paul McCartney released the sixteenth solo album of his career. The man that has already given the music world so much decided it was time for something new. New, Yeah right. New sounds like every McCartney album ever made. Still, I admire McCartney, he’s given the world so much quality work so he more or less gets a pass on anything. What I didn’t anticipate was the infectious nature of McCartney’s songwriting. On first listen I immediately wrote off New. As I have continued, I don’t know, I’m starting to… Feel things. Maybe this album is better than I thought?
McCartney worked with multiple producers to diversify his output on New and though I’m not sure it’s even noticeable to the listener, it does show McCartney being very receptive to collaboration. The album opens with the uptempo rocker “Save Us”. I like the hard cutting guitar and the energy. It’s followed by “Alligator” which drops off the energy but keeps the edge. There’s something about old McCartney when he’s melancholy that works so well. Perhaps when someone has lived a life like him you tend to hang on to his words a little more tightly. “Early Days” is an excellent example of that same idea. McCartney’s songwriting is still filled with captivating messages and beautiful melodies.
We can all agree on one thing though, McCartney’s old. His singing voice isn’t nearly where it used to be 40 years ago. Which makes me ask myself, if these songs came out in the early 70s, would I like them more? I think I would. So maybe it’s not the songs that initially threw me off, rather my aversion to hearing a senior citizen sing rock and roll. There’s some artists I have an easier time accepting as old. I always say Neil Young is as good as ever because he was just as cranky in his 20s as he is now. McCartney on the other hand is one of those artists you always want to remember as young, someone timeless. Once I got past all that I began to enjoy these songs just as songs, that just happen to be sung by a man who likes like a seventy-year-old Lesbian gym teacher. New isn’t new but it’s still something to cherish.
Favorite Tracks: “Alligator”, “New”, “Save Us”