There’s just no slowing 71 year old Sir Paul McCartney down. You could forgive him if he felt he was done – after all, he is considered to be the most successful composer and songwriter of all time, selling hundreds of millions of albums and singles (literally), dozens of number one hits, and holding the record for the most covered song of all time (Yesterday, which has officially been covered over 2200 times).
But as a recent Rolling Stone article pointed out, the man churns out music so fast even in his 70s that he puts musicians a quarter of his age to shame. And when the first single of his album, the title-track New, was released a couple of months ago it became clear he still had plenty of energy.
The album itself was released a couple of weeks ago now, and it turns out most of the album has a similar feel. It kicks off with the downright electric song Save Us, before moving onto an urgent and quirky sounding Alligator which dives into a darker atmosphere which keeps resurfacing throughout the record. After the rather typical acoustic number, On My Way To Work, it moves onto the second single, Queenie Eye – a song which has grown on me through subsequent listens. Check it out here (you’ll recognise a number of faces in the clip):
After this, it slows down again for the acoustic and nostalgic Early Days, moves on to the title-track and then onto the weird, slightly funky number Appreciate. Everybody Out There is a loud rock song with a perfect chanting part that I imagine will go down well live, and after the slower Hosanna the album springs back with I Can Bet. Looking at Her is sweet and a little bluesy, but then Road ends up being one of the darkest, most unusual ways McCartney has ever finished an album. Unless you have the deluxe version with two more tracks…and then another bonus track. So the album will have either 12, 14 or 15 songs – my one has 15 and while I do like the three extra songs, the album definitely feels like it ended properly back with Road.
This is McCartney’s 24th post-Beatles album, but somehow he has managed to keep the music interesting, different, relevant and yet still very much the same style of songwriting which has made people fall in love with him for over half a century. While some artists desperately need to stop embarrassing themselves as they age (especially certain bands), McCartney can keep on making music and we’ll keep listening to it. The Queenie Eye clip I posted above has shot over a million views in 3 days, and while it’s not as big as other songs these days it’s not bad for an old rocker.
If you missed my last post when I showed it, here is the clip for his first single, New:
What are your thoughts on Paul McCartney’s new music?