Eletric Arguments (2008) (The Fireman)

 
1. Nothing Too Much Just Out of Sight 2. Two Magpies 3. Sing the Changes 4. Travelling Light 5. Highway 6. Light From Your Lighthouse 7. Sun is Shining 8. Dance 'Til We're High 9. Lifelong Passion 10.Is This Love? 11.Lovers in a Dream 12.Universal Here, Everlasting Now 13.Don't Stop Running

 

I debated whether or not to include this release in the the Paul McCartney catalog. "The Fireman" is the name of Paul's wacky "electronica" band that he formed in 1993 and puts out an album every seven or eight years or so. Their first album was a ridiculous embarrassment. It was basically synthesized sounds going on and on with no rhyme, reason or purpose for 45 minutes. How any one can listen to it is beyond me. Their second album, I never heard, so I can't comment. I did read that it was "much better". After listening to this, the third The Fireman album, I can believe that it was much better, because this one is actually very very good indeed. In other words it's absolutely nothing like the first album. I mean that very sincerely.

It's very obvious though, that this album is more about "experiments" and less about "music". There is such a hodge-podge of instrumentation, banging and clanging, that the songs don't really seem to have much of a purpose, and it's easily argued that the album is not very accessible, but it's obvious that that was never really the intention. Paul McCartney was not exactly a stranger when it came to songs, or entire albums, that sort of fit this classification. He had recorded two solo albums that were almost completely solo, meaning that he virtually played every instrument on the albums (McCartney and McCartney II). Those albums had a slightly similar feel to this album in that they contained some plausible "songs" but also included some very strange arrangements that were hard for some to digest.

When you listen to this album, certain songs resonate quite well. Songs such as Sing the Changes, Dance 'Til We're High and Highway are quite fine for all tastes upon first listen. A lot of the rest of the album, well, you can find some decent melodies, you just have to dig quite further into the arrangements before you can locate them. Considering that Paul always had a reputation for being kind of "light weight" in his songs, both as a Beatle and as a solo artist, this record is proof that he did have what it took to be quite the musical genius.

This album will take several listens, but ultimately it's worth the patience.

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