Showing posts with label Egypt Station. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Egypt Station. Show all posts

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Details: Paul McCartney "Egypt Station: Explorer's Edition" out May 17

Details from the news release, just out:

Paul McCartney has confirmed a May 17 release for Egypt Station – Explorer’s Edition on Capitol Records. This expanded version of Paul’s #1 charting Egypt Station will arrive barely a week prior to the start of the U.S. leg of Paul's Freshen Up Tour—his first extended stateside run since the One On One Tour that played to some two million fans around the world.

Egypt Station was released September 7, 2018 to stellar reviews. Rolling Stone raved, “Macca keeps adding new gems to his songbook, with nothing to prove except he’s the only genius who can do this… And, oh yeah — in his spare time, he happens to still be the greatest live performer on Earth,” while Entertainment Weekly described the album as “the still-vital life force of a superstar who has been there and everywhere and is glad just to be here now.”

Egypt Station – Explorer’s Edition is comprised of the original record plus a second album, Egypt Station II. The bonus disc collects all songs released during the Egypt Station voyage, from studio tracks including the surprise single “Get Enough” to live performances captured at stops such as Abbey Road Studios, The Cavern and Grand Central Station.

The complete track listing for Egypt Station II is:
Get Started
Nothing For Free
Frank Sinatra’s Party
Sixty Second Street
Who Cares [Full Length]
Get Enough
Come On To Me [Live At Abbey Road Studios]
Fuh You [Live At The Cavern]
Confidante [Live At LIPA]
Who Cares [Live At Grand Central Station]

The Explorer's Edition is available via Amazon on CD and vinyl.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Paul McCartney announces "Egypt Station - Traveller's Edition box set

The long-planned expanded edition of Paul's latest solo LP, "Egypt Station," is finally on its way May 10 in a limited edition.

The set seems to be much more about packaging than music, with only a handful of extra tracks mentioned.

Details from his official website:

Strictly Limited Deluxe Edition of 3,000
To Be Released 10th May

Paul has confirmed the release of the Egypt Station - Traveller’s Edition box set out 10th May via Capitol Records. This strictly limited deluxe edition of the #1 album Egypt Station will be a one-time-only pressing limited to 3,000 numbered cases. The Traveller’s Edition arrives in a vintage style suitcase and contains exclusive previously unreleased tracks, hidden rarities and all the essentials needed on your journey to Egypt Station and beyond.


Fans who sign up HERE by 6pm PT / 9pm ET 14th February | 2am GMT 15th February will be emailed a unique link for access to the pre-order.

Pre-order begins Friday 15th February at 6am PT / 9am ET / 2pm GMT. Due to the limited quantity of this edition, sales will be on a first come, first served basis.

Egypt Station - Traveller’s Edition contains:

• Limited Edition Concertina Tri-Fold Deluxe 180G Vinyl Double Black Disc Pressing of Egypt Station
• Exclusive Limited Edition Bonus 180G Vinyl Pressing of Egypt Station II  in "Night Scene” blue, featuring three previously unreleased tracks — ‘Frank Sinatra’s Party’, ‘Sixty Second Street’ and extended cut of Egypt Station single ‘Who Cares’ — as well as four live performances of Egypt Station tracks taken from Abbey Road Studios, The Cavern Club, LIPA and Paul’s iconic performance at Grand Central Station
• Limited Edition Egypt Station Concertina CD
• Exclusive Limited Edition collector’s Egypt Station Blue Cassette
• HD Audio of all tracks upon shipment
• Additional rare performances footage hidden inside.

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Paul McCartney's "Egypt Station": Track-by-mostly underwhelming track

The hype engine pushing Paul McCartney's "Egypt Station" is running so furiously hard that you'd think it would've blown a gasket by now.

Over the past several weeks, Paul has appeared on numerous TV and radio shows and provided enlightening (by Paul standards) interviews that have been quoted by hundreds of news outlets around the world (the media sure jumped on that "Churchill" story, didn't they, even though Macca has recounted it before, as far back as 21 years ago in his memoir, "Many Years from Now.")

But does this mean "Egypt Station" is some sort of late period masterpiece or just that the media has jumped on all of these opportunities to spotlight an important, still popular, icon in our midst?

Let me put any confusion to rest: "Egypt Station" is no masterpiece. It's actually a bit of a mess. The album contains far fewer well-crafted and memorable songs than it's immediate predecessor, "New" and is no match at all for his last truly excellent album, 2005's "Chaos and Creation in the Backyard."

Paul has called "Egypt Station" a return to crafting "album albums" - carefully sequenced LPs that work well as a start-to-finish listen - and he bookends it "Venus and Mars" and "Sgt. Pepper" style with a repeated theme. Here it's not an actual reprised song, but two bits of ambient sound titled "Opening Station" and "Station II."

The real tunes that fall between these fragments don't cohere at all but represent a typically inconsistent mish-mash of lost opportunities, dashed off ephemera and a couple of tunes that, maybe, will hold up as pleasant-to-hear deep tracks in coming years. But, sadly, there's not a genuinely great tune in the batch. This is no "Ram" or "Band on the Run" by any stretch of the imagination.

Let's take a look track-by-track.

"I Don't Know" is the first real tune on the album. I reviewed it back in June when it was streamed as a non-physical "double A-side" with this album's second real song, "Come On to Me."

As I said back then, the track has a beautiful, pensive melody reminiscent of John Lennon's unreleased "Now and Then." The production is also nice, which excellent piano work and trademark melodic bass both supplied by Paul. There are some nice lyrics in the verses, too - "Crows at my window/dogs at my door." I just wish there was more to the chorus than the song's title being repeated seemingly hundreds of times.

"Come On to Me" is also a great instrumental production, with touches of both the Beatles and Wings, and it's catchy as all get out. But the juvenile, barely-an-entendre title phrase ruins it for me. TMI, Grandpa. It's one of those frustrating Paul songs featuring a great melody that, with a little more work and imagination in the lyrics, could be a great song.

The next tune, "Happy With You," on the other hand, I think is a great track. The arrangement captures Paul in pastoral mode, playing a folkish melody on acoustic guitar joined by flutes.

The lyrics, as on "Early Days" and "On My Way to Work" from "New," seem genuinely autobiographical and, as a result, have a depth of feeling and authenticity missing from the rest of this album. Recounting days wasted, literally, drinking and getting stoned, Paul sings about the simple, yet complex joys of newfound love.

Paul's vocals, which sound quite good on most of the LP considering his advancing years, are naked here. You can hear the age in his voice and how sometimes hitting higher notes is a challenge, but one he succeeds in. There's a nice, and appropriate, vulnerability on display.

Some fans are uncomfortable with "Old Paul," hearing how a 76-year-old man sounds when all the instruments and overdubs are stripped away, but I'd actually like to hear more of him.

"Who Cares," next up, is a craftsmanlike bit of electro-boogie that takes aim at bullies and, I imagine, critics. It's a solid song but without much imagination to it - the sort of thing Paul can do in his sleep. The opening bit of guitar feedback sounds directly lifted from the Beatles' "It's All Too Much."

There are, in fact, lots of Beatley touches throughout the album: arpeggiated and backwards guitar parts, loping piano and drums, and baroque-style keyboards. Sometimes these references work, but often they just seem arbitrary.

There's a looseness in Paul's approach on the LP that's nice, though. He seems willing to give anything a try, such as - on several tracks - "singing" drum and bass parts. The bad thing is when this lacksadaisical approach carries over into his lyric writing.

Case in point, the already notorious "Fuh You," which is embarrassing not just for it's desperately "edgy" title but also for its dated, circa 2005 pop production. This is Paul trying his hand at sounding current but missing the mark entirely.

Maybe the song's gimmicky title will shift a few theoretical units, but it's a worthless piece of music that signals the arrival of the half-baked center of the album. There is a whole string of weak songs trailing in its wake.

"Confidante," for example, is a mainly acoustic tune that starts off intriguingly but never pays off.

"You used to be my confidant," Paul sings, but we never get a clue as to why this person no longer fills this role. It's the type of tune that reinforces my feeling that, too often, Paul latches onto a word or phrase, builds a nice melody around it, and calls it good.

Ditto "People Want Peace." Nice tune, nice sentiment and it all evaporates the moment the song fades out.

"Dominos," on the other hand, is Good Track Number Two on the album. It's a very melodic tune reminiscent of Paul's work on "Flower in the Dirt," opening with a high-sung vocal and acoustic guitar followed by Jeff Lynne-style drums, guitar and keyboards, and Beatley/ Rutley vocal refrains. While nothing special, the lyrics make sense and they work.

This song is followed by "Back in Brazil," truly the oddest track on the album. I suspect that Paul latched onto the vaguely south of the border electronic rhythm the runs throughout the track, was reminded of Brazil and tried building a Desmond and Molly-type story around it. There are some nice jazzy harmonies and chord progressions in the tune, but the lyrics are flimsy to the point of nothingness.

"Hand in Hand," next, sounds like a first draft of "I Don't Know." It's a piano-based ballad about wanting to join a loved one in life, but it's so minor key and sad sounding that you're left thinking this is a relationship best avoided. Again, Paul has a phrase in his head, but doesn't surround it with genuine ideas.

"Do It Now" is an imploring, somewhat annoying tune built on a psychedelic-era Beatles-style harpsichord pattern. The song's title is based on one of the aphorisms Paul's dad used in lecturing his sons. And, you have to admit, Paul is great about getting things done. I just wish Old Jim had expanded on his advice to say, "Do it now. Then sharpen and edit the hell out of it." If that were the case, then maybe Paul might've avoided subjecting us to "Caesar Rock,"a dumb piece of studio jammery that has nothing to offer instrumentally or, especially, lyrically.

Next is the LP's ambitious with a capital A track: "Despite Repeated Warnings." The song has been getting a lot of attention in the media for being about Donald Trump. The lyrics, which play off a metaphor of a ship being steered into disaster by a crazed sea captain, are good.

Paul has said he wrote the tune about his concerns over climate change, but it could pertain to any other failure to provide necessary leadership in times of crisis. "Those who shout the loudest/may not always be the smartest/but they have their proudest moments/right before they fall," Paul sings. Nice line, but the song as a whole is undermined by its arrangement.

"Despite Repeated Warnings" is a stab at producing a long-form tune ala "Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey" or "Band on the Run." But the different sections Paul stitches together here don't hold the same interest instrumentally or melodically. They actually sound pretty generic, with lots of boring, bluesy guitar fills and cheap-sounding synth licks scattered throughout. Worst of all are the vocal choruses that remind me of Queen, but without the amusing campiness.

Weirdly, there are bits of Queen in "Do it Now," too, which makes me wonder if Paul's been on a belated Freddie Mercury kick.

The final tune on the album is a mash-up of studio filler: "Hunt You Down/Naked/C-Link." Nothing but jamming and gibberish. It probably amused Paul at the time of recording, but is a waste of space here.

But that's not all! Dutiful fan that I am, I bought the Target edition of "Egypt Station," which comes with two extra tracks. I was hesitant at first, because is more mediocre McCartney really a bonus? But fans also know that Paul has a history of relegating some of his better tunes to what we used to call B-sides. And that's the case here.

Neither "Get Started" or "Nothing for Free" are great tracks, but they're both enjoyable and better than many of the songs that made it onto the album per se.

"Get Started" has an effervescent, Traveling Wilburys feel to it, with more Jeff Lynne drums sounds and twanging guitar. There are lots of nice harmonies and hooks throughout. The lyrics ... are there.

"Nothing for Free," meanwhile, is another studio goof but with some interesting electronic sounds and dumb-but-fun words. I love the line "my brain stopped working today." The tune is akin to some of the experiments from Paul's Firemen releases or "McCartney II." Sometimes being playful pays off.

So, there you go. Apart from "Happy With You" nothing here will join my list of Paul's best work of the past 20 years, though I'll keep "Dominos" and the two bonus tracks on my digital playlist. As an album, though, I'd have to say "Egypt Station" isn't really a stop worth making.

Friday, September 14, 2018

Paul McCartney "Under the Staircase" playlist on Spotify

From the news release:

Today Spotify is proud to announce the release of ‘Paul McCartney &
Spotify Singles: Under The Staircase’
, a playlist of exclusive audio and video recordings, all captured at an intimate Paul McCartney gig which took place at Abbey Road Studios over the summer, at which Paul McCartney played tracks from his newest solo album, Egypt Station.

Spotify hosted Paul McCartney at the intimate gig at Abbey Road’s iconic Studio 2, the studio in which so many of The Beatles’ classic tracks were recorded. The session - which was overseen by producer Giles Martin, the son of ‘the fifth Beatle’ Sir George Martin - featured a wealth of iconic tracks from the back catalogues of The Beatles and Wings, as well as tracks from his newest solo album, Egypt Station. The event was attended by around 150 of Paul McCartney‘s biggest fans from around the world, as well as close friends of the star and his family, including Stormzy, Kylie Minogue, Amy Schumer, Johnny Depp and Orlando Bloom.

Spotify can now offer all of Paul McCartney’s fans the opportunity to enjoy the session as if they were there in Studio 2, in one new playlist, ‘Paul McCartney & Spotify Singles: Under The Staircase’.

‘Paul McCartney & Spotify Singles: Under The Staircase’ is a first-of-its-kind audio and video playlist, comprising of 17 audio tracks and a feature-length concert film, made up of 34 videos capturing the most special moments of the Abbey Road session.

The audio Spotify Singles track listing includes:
o   A Hard Day's Night
o   Love Me Do
o   Drive My Car
o   Got To Get You Into My Life
o   We Can Work It Out
o   I've Just Seen A Face
o   Lady Madonna
o   Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band/Helter Skelter
o   Nineteen Hundred And Eighty Five
o   My Valentine
o   Fuh You
o   Come On To Me
o   I've Got a Feeling
o   One After 909
o   Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da
o   Back In The U.S.S.R.
o   Birthday

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Paul's Abbey Road show to screen on Spotify

Spotify will stream Paul McCartney's recent performance in Abbey Road Studios starting this Friday. Here's a trailer.

Friday, September 7, 2018

Listen: Paul on Marc Maron's "WTF" podcast


Marc talks with Paul McCartney about, well, a lot: The Beatles and Stones rivalry that wasn’t, his current relationship with Ringo, the influence of Little Richard, The Who, The Beach Boys, how he needs to have an out-of-body experience to really examine the Beatles legacy, the reception of his solo work after the Beatles, recording Band on the Run in Nigeria, what messages are in his songs, which songs still make him emotional when he performs them, and what he brought to the table for his latest album, Egypt Station. 

Listen here.

Paul on "The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon"

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Paul plans live performance on YouTube this Friday

Via the news release:


YouTube Original Special Will Start at 8:00PM ET
As part of a YouTube Original special, Paul McCartney will perform a concert live on Paul’s YouTube channel to celebrate the release of his highly anticipated new album Egypt Station. Paul will perform songs from the new album alongside classics from his Beatles, Wings and solo catalogues.

The live stream will begin at 8:00PM (ET) on Friday, September 7, 2018.

Fans can watch the intimate show live on Paul McCartney’s YouTube channel.

* * *

Friday, August 17, 2018

Paul featured in new Mojo magazine

Is it just me or is there something on about Macca's mouth in this pic?

Anyway, here's what Mojo has to say about its new cover story:

PAUL MCCARTNEY OPENS UP about the doubts and fears that fed into songs on his latest album, Egypt Station.

“Sometimes in your life, you’re not a god on Olympus,” he tells Keith Cameron in the new MOJO magazine, in UK shops from Monday, August 21. “You’re a real person walking round the streets. I’m a grandfather, a father, a husband, and in that package there’s no guarantee that every minute’s gonna go right. In fact, quite the opposite.”

Not known as a confessional songsmith, the Beatle talks about his writing as “a therapy session”, citing the Let It Be album’s The Long And Winding Road as a song underestimated for its emotional heft.

In an in-depth interview he delves into the making of his new album and tackles many other topics besides – including reflections on his cannabis-wreathed past. He even reveals a recurring dream where he’s on stage with the Beatles and everything’s going wrong…

“We’re playing a dreadful gig somewhere and the audience are walking out. That happens a lot. But I get to meet John, and George. So that’s kinda good.”

And in an intimate portfolio of shots by his daughter Mary, MOJO readers are afforded an unprecedented glimpse off-duty Macca – captured at the ‘Magic Piano’ on which he wrote Fixing A Hole, posing in front of Beatles wallpaper and in the middle of a yoga move.

If you dig the Beatles, and/or you’re interested in Paul McCartney (“one of the greatest melodists who ever lived,” as Harold Goodall claims elsewhere in the feature) it’s a must-read.

Moreover: our covermount CD is a Macca-inspired collection of Liverpudlian pop and rock, including classic tracks by Deaf School, The Coral, OMD, The La’s and The Liverpool Scene.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

New Paul McCartney video for "Fuh You" - plus news release

From his forthcoming Egypt Station LP.

News release:

Paul McCartney has announced the next stop on the journey to Egypt Station: “Fuh You,” the newest single from the forthcoming record is now available on all digital/streaming platforms.

Egypt Station’s estimated time of arrival is September 7, 2018 by way of Capitol Records.

Sharing a title with one of Paul’s own paintings, Egypt Station is the first full album of all-new McCartney music since 2013’s international chart-topping NEW. Preceded by two of its tracks just released as double A-sides–plaintive ballad  “I Don’t Know” and raucous stomper  “Come On To Me”—Egypt Station was recorded between Los Angeles, London and Sussex, and produced by Greg Kurstin (Adele, Beck, Foo Fighters)—with the exception of the newly available “Fuh You,” which was produced by Ryan Tedder.

Paul recalls the process behind the new single: “With this one I was in the studio with Ryan Tedder whereas the rest of the album has been made with Greg Kurstin… We were just thinking of ideas and little pieces of melody and chords and the song just came together bit by bit. And then I would try and make some kind of sense of the story. So it was like ‘Come on baby now. Talk about yourself. Tell the truth, let me get to know you’ and basically I wanna know how you feel, you make me wanna go out and steal. I just want it for you. So that was the basic idea and it developed from there… sort of a love song, but a raunchy love song. There you go – fuh you."

Of Egypt Station's enigmatic title, Paul says, “I liked the words ‘Egypt Station.’ It reminded me of the ‘album’ albums we used to make... Egypt Station starts off at the station on the first song and then each song is like a different station. So it gave us some idea to base all the songs around that. I think of it as a dream location that the music emanates from.”

The complete track listing for Egypt Station is:
  1. Opening Station
  2. I Don’t Know
  3. Come On To Me
  4. Happy With You
  5. Who Cares
  6. Fuh You
  7. Confidante
  8. People Want Peace
  9. Hand In Hand
  10. Dominoes
  11. Back In Brazil
  12. Do It Now
  13. Caesar Rock 
  14. Despite Repeated Warnings
  15. Station II
  16. Hunt You Down/Naked/C-Link
And don’t forget to tune in to CBS 8pm Monday, August 20 for Carpool Karaoke: When Corden Met McCartney Live From Liverpool. The hour-long primetime special will feature never-before-seen footage from the wildly popular “Paul McCartney Carpool Karaoke” segment which aired on The Late Late Show with James Corden on June 21, 2018, and has since been viewed nearly 130 million times across Facebook and YouTube. 

Egypt Station will be available in the following formats:

– Limited Edition heavyweight Concertina vinyl package
– Limited Edition Concertina CD package
– Digital album
– Super Deluxe Limited Edition hand numbered box set package featuring bonus tracks coming soon.

Monday, August 13, 2018

Read an early review of Paul McCartney's Egypt Station

The first review I've seen of Paul's upcoming Egypt Station is on the Record Collector's website today.

The mag gives the album three stars, noting some decent tunes, overall good vocals and some dodgy lyrics. Despite being promoted as a "concept album" of sorts, the album doesn't really have unifying theme, despite the fact that the LP's opening instrumental, "Station 1" gets repeated as "Station II" later on.

Sounds like there are some varied and intriguing tunes, though:

"Dominoes" pleasingly shares a smattering of backward guitar with the Syd Barrett song of the same name, "Do It Now" is beautifully redolent of "Wind Chimes" by The Beach Boys, and "People Want Peace" approaches the business of constructing a common-sense anthem in such a discreet way that you’ll be whacking a Trump piñata before you know it.  

You can read the entire review here.

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Producer Greg Kurstin details Macca's "Egypt Station"

Rolling Stone has a lengthy interview with Greg Kurstin (Adele, Beck, Foo Fighters) who produced most of Paul McCartney's upcoming album, Egypt Station, which is out Sept. 7.

From the looks of it, much of the album was recorded Chaos and Creation-style, with Paul overdubbing multiple instruments with occasional help from others. It also sounds like there are several tracks featuring unusual instruments along with recording techniques that stretch back to Paul's Beatles days, such as tape loops. You can read the entire piece here.

I see that the album begins with “Station I” and ends with “Station II.” What can you tell me about those tracks?That started with a choir piece that Paul had worked out on the keyboard. Then we brought in David Campbell to help arrange the choir. We went into a cathedral to record that, which was really cool. It started with us in the studio. Paul had worked out some chords that he wanted the voices to do. Then we started creating different ambient noises, some of which came from tape loops. He had a little portable reel-to-reel player, the one they used on Revolver for “Tomorrow Never Knows.” That was done on this little Brenell tape machine. We created some of the sounds on that, like slowing down guitars.

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Paul McCartney announces "Freshen Up" tour dates

Paul McCartney is launching a new tour, with the announcement of four September dates in Canada.


Paul will make his eagerly anticipated return to the road with his new #FreshenUpTour. Four confirmed dates were announced this morning, marking Paul’s first series of live dates since the 'One On One' tour that played to some two million fans over the course of 2016 and 2017. 

The 'Freshen Up' tour will also be Paul’s first outing following the release of his brand new studio album, Egypt Station, out September 7th on Capitol Records. 
'Freshen Up' will begin September 17th at the Videotron Centre in Québec, Paul’s first show in the Canadian capital since his 2013 stop at the Plains of Abraham on the 'Out There' tour. From there, Paul will visit Montreal for the first time since the 'On The Run' tour in 2011 to play the Bell Centre on September 20th, before returning to Winnipeg September 28th to play Bell MTS Place, his first performance in the capital of Manitoba since 2013. 'Freshen Up's' Canadian itinerary will conclude with a visit to a final Canadian capital city, Edmonton, Alberta, for a September 30th show at Rogers Place—Paul’s first appearance in the city since 2012. 

As previously announced, Paul will follow 'Freshen Up’s' Canadian run with headline sets at the17th annual Austin City Limits Music Festival. The historic bill includes Paul’s debut ACL Fest performance and only North American festival appearance of 2018, topping a lineup featuring Metallica, Childish Gambino, Arctic Monkeys, Travis Scott, The National, Hozier, St. Vincent, Janelle Monáe and more than 100 other artists playing Zilker Park, October 5 - 7 and October 12 - 14.  

Here are the first dates:

September 17: Quebec City, QC - the Videotron Centre
September 20: Montreal, QC - Bell Centre
September 28 – Winnipeg, MB - Bell MTS Place
September 30 – Edmonton, AB - Rogers Place

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Review: Paul's "double A-side" rates a "C"

Back in 1965, while they were pioneering all sorts of other pop music conventions, the Beatles came up with the idea of a "double A-side" single.

"Day Tripper" and "We Can Work it Out," were released on the same 45 rpm vinyl disk with both tunes marked as the single's A-side. It was a signal to fans and radio that the band considered both tunes of equal merit. They refused to categorize either as the single's B-side, where, generally, lesser songs go to die.

The band also released "Yellow Submarine/Eleanor Rigby" and, probably most famously, "Penny Lane/Strawberry Fields Forever," as double A-sides.

Neither tune on Paul McCartney's new double A-side single is as good as those Beatles songs. Also, his release is not a "double A-side." Not if, and until, it shows up on vinyl, anyway. Right now, the tunes can be streamed online or purchased - each song separately - via Amazon, iTunes and other retailers. This is not a two-for-one deal.

Calling this release (or, more accurately, these releases) a double A-side is mainly just a bit of hype and, perhaps, Paul letting us know he's proud of both tunes and wants to see them both succeed. Clearly, he'd love to have a song or two in the charts again - whatever charts are these days, when tunes needn't even be purchased to listen to.

In any event, the media attention Paul enjoyed by releasing the songs simultaneously after some social media teasing and, especially, following his recent appearance on James Corden's "Carpool Karaoke,"  the tunes are being heard by a lot of people. And that's great. It's just too bad the songs - or at least their lyrics - aren't better.

It's easy to criticize Paul for writing bad lyrics. He's written loads of them. It's his greatest downfall as a songwriter. He can come up with the most memorable, hummable tune in the world, put it to a wonderful, imaginative arrangement and then sabotage it with terrible words. And that's what he's done here.

"Come On To Me," which I view as the A-side despite what Paul says, is a jaunty rocker that starts with a crunchy guitar riff that's soon joined by pounding drums, organ, a fun rollicking piano part and, eventually, some harmonica, electric sitar and (what sounds to me like) synth brass. It's a great, instantly catchy tune. But the words! Oh man.

The tune's title, repeated again and again throughout, barely constitutes a double-entendre due to it's being so obvious and dumb. And the fact that its sung by a 76-year-old man just makes it creepy. It the tune had a video (apart from the lame "lyric video" available on YouTube), I imagine it featuring two pensioners putting the moves on one another in a bingo hall.

After the life he's led and the experiences he's had, surely Paul has something more interesting, and less predictable, to say. I want to like this tune, because it's great musically. But the lazy lyrics kill it for me.

Likewise, "I Don't Know" (what I call the B-side) features a nice, memorable melody. This one has a 1970s R&B feel with lovely piano and Paul's signature, melodic bass playing underneath. Many fans have remarked its similarity to John Lennon's "Now and Then," a officially unreleased tune that Paul, George and Ringo reportedly worked on but scrapped during their Beatles Anthology reunion sessions, and I hear that, too.

But, again, the words! And by this I mean the three in the title, which are repeated (it seems like) 5,000 times throughout the song. I'm sure someone out there will eventually provide a more accurate count - but it's a lot. The lyrics, what there are of them, seem to portray a crisis in confidence. It's hard to imagine Paul McCartney having any such thing and his vocal performance makes it even harder to believe. The song doesn't feel lived-in at all. Paul sounds as if he's singing newly penned words off a lyric sheet, not from the heart.

There's nothing new in Paul writing bad lyrics, but - as we all know - he can also write great ones.

His previous album, New, featured a number of from-the-heart songs, such as "On My Way to Work" and "Early Days." But it was also full of tunes with workaday, just-get-the-song-done lyrics. Most of Paul's songs, unfortunately, fall into this half-baked category. It's an old refrain, but if he would only take the time to work harder on his lyrics he'd continue to produce great music. When he doesn't, as is the case here, the results are both frustrating and disappointing.

Maybe Egypt Station, the upcoming LP that includes these two new tunes, will feature one or two more great McCartney songs. But these two certainly aren't among them.

Friday, June 22, 2018

Hear an extended version of Paul McCartney's latest BBC radio interview

Now streaming on BBC Radio 6:

Paul McCartney has just unveiled his first new solo single in four years, a double A side ‘Come On To Me’ and ‘I Don’t Know’ - the former is a rocker with more than a few tinges of his Macca's 70s band Wings while the is latter is an introspective ballad, 
He also announced details of his first new album Egypt Station, which is coming out on September 7th. This is his 17th studio album, and was recorded in California and the UK with producer Greg Kurstin (who's worked with Beck, Adele and Foo Fighters). 
BBC 6 Music Breakfast's Matt Everitt travelled to Paul's studio in deepest East Sussex to meet him and they talked about the challenges of song writing when you up against your own back catalogue, how he thinks his outlook has changed, his appearance at the recent pro-gun control rally in the US, and his touring plans.
But they started by discussing the two new songs - starting off with ‘I Don’t Know’

Release date: