by Chris Murphree
Released on October 11th, Sir Paul McCartney’s new album — fittingly titled NEW– shakes up the trends of music that prevail today. Contributing to the genius of the universally respected band The Beatles and continuing to exercise his musical genius in his 71st year, McCartney has a fame even the most successful stars of today could only dream about. Yet McCartney’s foray into modern music leaves much to be desired. The legend’s sixteenth studio album delivers fun jams and head-bopping beats that are, unfortunately, as archaic as the terms that describes them. McCartney worked with four different producers on the album in an effort to provide variety for both himself and his fans.
This appears to be the album’s greatest folly, as the inconstancy leads to a jumpy feel, bouncing from song to song and robbing NEW of any coherent theme strong enough to permeate and connect to the listener. McCartney himself has dismissed such criticisms:
In a recent interview with NPR music, he said that his goal in making a new album was to have no two songs sound the same, and argued that it made them that much more exciting. In those terms, the album accomplishes what it set out to do.
While lacking any sort of connection between the songs, the album effectively displays a wide range of emotion on them. McCartney expresses the voices of lost souls on a journey looking for someone to guide them to safety in a twang filled ballad interrupted with an electronic interlude reminiscent of the 80’s in the stand out song “Alligator.” He then shifts to the mind of seasoned veteran giving advice to the kids on the second single “Queenie Eye.” McCartney finishes up the sporadic LP with a seven minute finale called “Road.” Calling on the hair bands of the 70s and providing his own professional experience, Sir Paul shells out all he has in what is arguably the album’s most engrossing tune.
Regardless of whether you like McCartney’s thematic hopscotch through music his new musical escapade, there is one thing that is undeniable: NEW is full of the same old fun. [B+]