Paul McCartney: New
A loud guitar straight slappy back beat opens Paul McCartney’s new album, New. The “cute Beatle” is in fine voice and is rockin’ here as well as into the next tune, “Alligator,” a swirly acoustic number with an over-driven single electric guitar on top, perfect poppy chorus and fun high falsetto bridges.
“Queenie Eye” is just absolutely brilliant and classic mid-’70s sounding Paul. From the Mellotron opening, to some deceptive, big fat bass playing, to even when the beat stops into a halting, wavering keys and falsetto (again) bridge, this tune just continues throughout with dead-on singable roiling. I dare anyone guess how old Paul is by just listening to his absolutely perfect vocals here.
“Early Days,” another acoustic guitar tune, might be the best song about Paul and John/The Beatles years/anyone’s past I’ve ever heard. It will bring you to tears on the first listen. It even sounds like Paul is breaking up himself during the first verse.
Holy mother of whatever God you do or not have…half way into the album and I was on the floor already!
The title track is just a fun, open, commercial mover, but then we’re into some backwards sounding bleating and steam-release sounding synths of “Appreciate.” (Paul warned there was going to be a lot of different variations here seeing as this 16th studio album saw four producers on-board.) “I Can Bet” is an electric piano-moving rocker, but then comes Paul master-of-melodies McCartney delivering a chorus you cannot get away from. I love the synth lead here and again I’m reminded of Wings’ output.
A wholly different, tightly programmed drums/lilting vocal sound with acoustic guitar lead informs the slinky “Looking At Her.” “Road” has more neat, atmospheric stuff, keys and piano and an almost un-McCartney vocal, plus a hand-clapped coda to the chorus.
Paul plays a sloppy acoustic and sings atop a bongo beat and big bass drum smack on “Get Me Out of Here.” With its cool backing vocals and the sardonic lyrics, it would have made a great ender to the perfect 14 new tunes. But at the very end, we get a plaintive Paul singing over a simple piano on the hidden track, “Scared.”