October 22, 2013

Paul McCartney's 'NEW' - The Full Rundown
by James
by James hmv London, Bio "Like the legend of the Phoenix, I've just eaten a whole packet of chocolate HobNobs..." Editor, hmv.com

Paul McCartney's 'NEW' - The Full Rundown

The legend returns...

A man who quite literally needs no introduction, the legendary Sir Paul returns with his 16th solo album, NEW. McCartney’s last album release was 2012’s Kisses on the Bottom, a record comprising mostly cover versions of jazz & traditional pop songs, inspired by childhood memories of “family sing-songs around the piano” and featuring only a couple of original songs.

Who’s at the controls?

For NEW, McCartney returns to familiar rock & pop ground, this time drafting in a host of contemporary producers; Mark Ronson (Amy Winehouse, Duran Duran), Paul Epworth (Adele, Florence and the Machine) and Ethan Johns (Ryan Adams, Kings of Leon) all contribute to the new album – along with long-time collaborator Giles ‘son of George’ Martin – between them creating a total of 12 brand new studio tracks, with an extra couple on the Deluxe Edition.

NEW Paul McCartney

What are the standout tracks?

The Epworth-produced opener ‘Save Us’ puts the listener squarely in classic McCartney territory from the beginning; an up-tempo rock number that recalls the feel of 70’s classics like ‘Live & Let Die’ – albeit with more modern production values - and shows that Macca has lost none of his enthusiasm for promoting the ideals of peace & love: (“Keep on sending your love / ‘cause in the heat of battle / you got something that can save us”)

There are other moments that feel very ‘classic McCartney’, particularly the lead single and title track, produced by Mark Ronson, led by a stomping piano / harpsichord riff reminiscent of Sgt. Peppers-era Beatles tracks such as ‘Penny Lane’ and ‘A Day In The Life’

‘Early Days’ is a folksy acoustic number that sees McCartney telling stories about his youth in Liverpool, writing songs with a young John Lennon and trying to find an audience for their music, while ‘On My Way To Work’ is another trip down memory lane, this time finding joy in the banalities of day-to-day life.

Despite the raft of high-profile producers brought in to work on the record, some of the most interesting production work appears on the Giles Martin tracks, especially on ‘Looking At Her’ and ‘Appreciate’, both of which sound very up-to-the-minute and highlight McCartney’s continued passion for pushing the boundaries and trying new things – a trait that even now continues to set him apart from his contemporaries.

Will fans dig it?

After a career that has spanned half a century and produced some of the best-selling, best-loved and most influential music in modern times, Paul McCartney isn’t exactly a man who has something to prove; so what motivates a musician with such revered status to keep going where so many artists of his vintage have called it a day?

One answer may lie in his new relationship with Nancy Shovell - speaking to the BBC recently, McCartney describes making the record as “a happy period in my life, having a new woman” and more than anything else on this record what really comes across is how much he is enjoying himself again. Occasional moments of adventurous production aside, NEW isn’t packed with the wild experimentation of albums like McCartney II, instead the album sees him revelling in what he does best; writing great pop songs and having a lot of fun doing it.

NEW is available in store and to download now.

Macca opens 363 Oxford Street

As homecomings go, this one was pretty special. Sir Paul appeared last week at our newly re-opened store at 363 Oxford Street, signing autographs for fans - some of whom were very emotional!

See below for an exclusive video of the event.

Paul McCartney greets fans at 363 Oxford Street

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