StephanieMangino profile image

Paul McCartney's "New" is a return to legendary form

Paul McCartney is a rock/pop/music legend. Period.

He was a Beatle and has created some of the best music of the past 50 years. However, in recent decades, his music, I would argue, has been kind of lackluster.

No more.

Instead of trying too hard to access or ignore his past, this time McCartney and his four producers (one of whom is the son of his Beatles-era and Tug of War producer George Martin) get it right. The songs nod to his Beatles-era output, but they don't try to reproduce it. Rather, he draws on his own past and mixes it with plenty of current sounds. Even better, he shies away from the overproduction that has been known to mar some of his solo records.

It's like he's being influenced by himself, as a younger artist would be. Here's the difference, though. He's not a younger artist. He's 71 years old (can you believe it!) and he was a Beatle. He is Paul McCartney: ace songwriter, fabulous bassist and multi-instrumentalist and melody master.

And can also totally rock out. The opening track, "Save Us" hits you with a blast of guitar and a vaguely Franz Ferdinand-esque sound. "Everybody Out There" and "Appreciate" do plenty of rocking, too, with the latter featuring some of that slide that showed up when McCartney created "Cut Me Some Slack" with Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselic of Nirvana. "New," the single that's been out for a while is a perfect slice of Beatlesque pop that my daughter remembers from its inclusion in "Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2." She delighted in singing along with "wooo-oooh-ooh-oooh" of the chorus.

"On My Way to Work" is an odd combination of sadness infused with a hint of humor. "Road" is what I would best describe as a hybrid ballad -- parts of it remind me a bit of late 70s/early 80s Peter Gabriel, which is different, but very awesome territory, for Paul. The ebb and flow of this one is magnificent.

And then there's "Early Days." McCartney sings The Beatles' early history in this song, which features a much more ragged McCartney voice than you usually hear. He's allowing something less than perfect spill from his mouth and that, along with the lyrics, make this song quite beautiful -- it improves with every listen. In it, he addresses all those people who say they know The Beatles' history. He's not angry, but just matter-of-fact as he sings, "I don't see how they can remember/when they weren't where it was at," and a few lines later, he reminds, "I lived through those early days."

Only he and three other men really ever knew what those days were like and now only he and Ringo Starr remain. The ghosts of John Lennon and George Harrison fairly haunt this song, and that adds to the beauty, too.

In short, if you're a Paul McCartney or Beatles fan, you will adore this album. Adore it. Trust me on this. (The first album I ever bought for myself was a British import copy of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. The Beatles looked at me from wall posters throughout my teen years in the 1980s -- yes the 80s, not the 60s -- and Paul was always my boy.) Trust me. You will love. I can't stop listening. And neither will you.

Live At The BBC (Remastered)
Live At The BBC (Remastered)

This is The Beatles back in those "Early Days" of the song. Listen and be transported to another time and place. Wonderful stuff.

 
Wings Over America [Standard Edition]
Wings Over America [Standard Edition]

Although Band on the Run is often considered the best of Paul's post-Beatles output, this 1976 live double album is a fabulous snapshot of his career, which had been reborn with Wings. Beatles songs are also part of this set. This also features what many fans feel is the best version of "Maybe I'm Amazed" from his first solo album, called McCartney.

 
Tug Of War
Tug Of War

This sometimes seems like the forgotten McCartney album to me. While it includes "Ebony & Ivory" (the first single I ever bought, but not a song that really wears well now), its standouts are the title track, Ballroom Dancing, the unbelievably amazing and underrated "Wanderlust" and his song addressing John Lennon's death, "Here Today."

 

"Wanderlust" from the Tug of War album. See if you think it's as amazing as I do. This version is from the film "Give My Regards to Broad Street," which is a terrible movie, but I love it, anyway. :) Recognize the drummer?

The single my daughter can't stop singing along with.

Another McCartney classic. Here it is, in all its glory, from the Wings Over America era.

So, what's your favorite Paul McCartney/Wings album?

  • Ram
  • Red Rose Speedway
  • Band on the Run
  • Pipes of Peace
  • Wings Over America
  • Tug of War
  • Press to Play
  • Flowers in the Dirt
  • Kisses on the Bottom
  • Flaming Pie
  • Wild Life
  • Back to the Egg
  • Venus and Mars
  • Wings at the Speed of Sound
  • London Town
  • McCartney II
  • Give My Regards to Broad Street
  • Choba B CCCP
  • Off the Ground
  • Run Devil Run
  • Driving Rain
  • Chaos and Creation in the Backyard
  • Memory Almost Full
  • New
See results without voting

 Last updated on October 17, 2013

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What do you think of New? Let me know! 28 comments

mansfisa44 profile image

mansfisa44 6 months ago

Sweet!


miriamyentraccm profile image

miriamyentraccm 6 months ago from Montclair, CA. 91763

Awesome review! I also love this new compilation of songs. "On My Way to Work" is just one of my favorites on this set!


StephanieMangino profile image

StephanieMangino 6 months ago Hub Author

@miriamyentraccm: Thanks! It is such a strong album -- I need to go back and revisit it -- it's about time. :)


Tim Bader profile image

Tim Bader 6 months ago from Surrey, UK Level 3 Commenter

I have to admit to being one of those who never really liked Paul McCartney or Wings, but was "ok" about the Beatles (sorry!).

However, despite not being a fan, I do recognise the skill of a master song writer, even if it doesn't hit the spot for me.

Your review was excellent and kept me reading to the end. Well done!


esmonaco profile image

esmonaco 6 months ago from Lakewood New York Level 7 Commenter

A wonderful review and, Congratulations on LOTD!!


Diana Wenzel profile image

Diana Wenzel 6 months ago from Colorado Level 6 Commenter

I can't imagine how hard it would be for an iconic musician to keep finding the best of himself and his music when so many want him to be what he was once. I look forward to checking out this new release. Congrats on Lens of the Day!


delia-delia profile image

delia-delia 6 months ago Level 5 Commenter

Congratulations on LOTD! Great review, nicely written...sounds like a great album....


mjogiyal profile image

mjogiyal 6 months ago

Awesome


Merrci profile image

Merrci 6 months ago from Oregon's Southern Coast Level 7 Commenter

What a great review! Congratulations on Lens of the Day! I have to go listen to the videos now. Thanks!


Faye Rutledge profile image

Faye Rutledge 6 months ago from Concord VA Level 4 Commenter

Love Paul McCartney! His music with the Beatles has always been my favorite...I guess since I was a teen when the Beatles were popular. Congratulations on LotD! Great review.


Dressage Husband profile image

Dressage Husband 6 months ago from Pine Grove, Nova Scotia, Canada Level 5 Commenter

I am not really familiar with it, but this review has raised my curiosity! Well done on the lens and LOTD.


JoanieMRuppel54 profile image

JoanieMRuppel54 6 months ago from Keller, Texas Level 3 Commenter

You sold me, I bought one!


chrisshouse 6 months ago

Very interesting thank you for sharing..my era!


miriamyentraccm profile image

miriamyentraccm 6 months ago from Montclair, CA. 91763

I bought NEW from Amazon right before it was released, and I LOVE it!

I really like the Lens you've created! Very nice! Paul would be proud of you.


Dhookraj Singh profile image

Dhookraj Singh 6 months ago Level 1 Commenter

Great singer! Great songs! Great era!


Craftymarie profile image

Craftymarie 6 months ago Level 5 Commenter

Congratulations on LOTD, Stephanie :) My husband is a big fan of his music.


anonymous 6 months ago

Very good album. Congratulations on getting LotD!


DebMartin profile image

DebMartin 6 months ago Level 3 Commenter

Thanks for the amazing review.


AnonymousC831 profile image

AnonymousC831 6 months ago from Kentucky Level 3 Commenter

I love it! Great lens.


bobnolley lm profile image

bobnolley lm 6 months ago

Congrats on the LOTD! This topic (classic rock album/artist reviews) is one of my faves.

Very well done!


StephanieMangino profile image

StephanieMangino 6 months ago Hub Author

@JoanieMRuppel54: So glad to hear. I hope you enjoy it as much as I have!


StephanieMangino profile image

StephanieMangino 6 months ago Hub Author

Thanks everyone for all the kind words!


yogameditation33 profile image

yogameditation33 6 months ago

Great lens :)

Congratulations!


thegembank 6 months ago

I missed the Band on the Run in the Poll and voted something else... but anyway, Paul Mccartney is one of the remarkable artist there is.


BrianRS profile image

BrianRS 6 months ago from France Level 3 Commenter

Have to agree with you, loved the Beatles, not so keen on McCartney solo or in his own band. I haven't listened to 'New' yet but as we seem to have similar viewpoints I think I had better give it a go.


jaychubz 6 months ago

nice one


Carol Houle profile image

Carol Houle 5 months ago from Montreal Level 2 Commenter

What an incredible logo. Thanks for this. I was immediately drawn.


jeffersuan profile image

jeffersuan 4 months ago

I can't believe he's still making new music! I love how modern it sounds.

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