New (2013)

 
1. Save Us 2. Alligator 3. On My Way To Work 4. Queenie Eye 5. Early Days 6. New 7. Appreciate 8. Everybody Out There 9. Hosanna 10.I Can Bet 11.Looking At Her 12.Road

 

A great title for this album. Another great one could have been "Wow". Paul's last "normal" pop album was 2008's Memory Almost Full. That album seemed to resonate a sense of "life has been great to me, but I'm getting up in years, so I'm not really sure how much longer I'll be here". It wouldn't have been surprising to anyone, therefore, had that effort been his swan song. Well, leave it to McCartney to surprise everyone five years later with his most invigorating, fresh release that he's created in quite some time.

You would never know that the guy was 71 years old. He sounds like he's about 30, and the type of music here is much more geared towards that "younger" crowd. He does a complete about face from his sentimental, schmaltzy Kisses on the Bottom released just last year. You could definitely call him a "new" creation.

This is an album that is impossible to sit still through. Like most of his solo work, this album is very quirky, a bit odd in places, not exactly consistent, yet such an overall joy to listen. Songs such as Queenie Eye, Appreciate and the title track are so danged catchy, that the melodies and words immediately become welded to your brain. He used a plethora of "modern" producers to solidify his desired sound, but had you told me that there was only one person behind the controls, I would have believed it. For all its diversity, it manages to be incredibly consistent, which is a marking of many great albums. The only song that seems a bit out of place is the memory lane filled Early Days, which is an acoustic ballad dedicated to his youth in Hamburg. It seems has though it would have been more appropriate for an album such as 1996's Flaming Pie. Still, it such a great tune, that even though it seems a bit out of place, it doesn't take away from the overall experience.

Even though the glory days of Beatlemania in the 1960s will always be remembered the most fondly by all, you could easily argue that Paul's best work as a solo artist has been since the beginning of the 21st century. That's a pretty amazing fact, when even Paul though he would be spending these years immobile with Vera, Chuck and Dave.

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