Record review: Paul McCartney – New (2013, LP)

PM

Oh dear. This isn’t good. Here we have one of the greatest song-writers and musicians of all time releasing his 24th studio album since being in The Beatles, and the result is an instantly forgettable set of songs that sound anything but ‘new’. It’s not that there’s anything particularly wrong with this album as a whole, and the 71 year-old member of music royalty can do whatever he wants and people will lap it up in droves, but McCartney has missed the mark on so many of the tracks here. Production duties are shared between Mark Ronson, Giles Martin (son of George) and others, contributing to the disjointed feeling throughout, and most of the songs float by unnoticed. He’s still going on about bloody buses on ‘On My Way To Work’; a song which wouldn’t sound out of place on Magical Mystery Tour, and the title track has too much of the annoyingly bouncy and whimsically childlike song-writing elements that have peppered some of his less celebrated tracks. ‘Appreciate’ is a fairly drab attempt at an ‘urban’ track, and ‘I Can Bet’ desperately lacks bite. It’s not all bad of course; ‘Early Days’ is an acoustic coming-of-age tale with the right amounts of nostalgia and restraint, and ‘Everybody Out There’ packs a bit of a punch, and while it’s probably a bit unfair to compare McCartney’s solo work to that of The Beatles, it’s pretty hard to connect this music to that of one of the coolest and most influential bands to ever pick up guitars. He may be a Sir, but this is pretty low-class stuff. (Virgin)

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