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A masterful simplicity mixed with abstract beautyPaul McCartney - NEW
4 stars (out of 5 stars)
Reviewed: May 12, 2014
Review by Jim WassonWell.........
I think the only way to accurately review this record depends on you, not me or the countless other ding-dongs who will take a stab at it. Age, conditioning, upbringing, situational awareness, general shit-togetherness, etc. is what will determine what this record means to you. Uncontrollably for all of us, it's the inherent "Paul vibe" in these songs that penetrate your soul, because your soul already has a deep-rooted Paul ticker. We all do, whether you like it or not. Heck, my Mom is 81 and she has a Paul ticker. Whether she likes it or not. Anyone alive and has a set of ears knows who Paul is. Think about it.
The layers of this particular glass onion expose that penetrating bouquet of Paul's eye-tearing familiarity, that is only slightly tinged by the commercial aspect of how some of these songs are delivered. So what about the NEW songs, you ask? Check out "Alligator." Are you kidding me? Or how about "Appreciate"? Shit. The last song, "Get Me Out Of Here" has a 24 second silent gap....you think the song is done..........and then........magic. I love the experimentation. Sir George Martin himself proclaimed Paul as "the best overall musician he has ever seen," so who needs the four different and extremely talented engineers that assisted on this record, including Sir George's son?
Not Paul. If it wasn't for "him," none of these bastards would be in their current positions anyway. The Paul ticker. Think about it.
On the more intriguing abstract numbers, you had better lean way in. Weird, unexpected, beautifully arranged and produced. The attractive simplicity of Paul's vast musical sensibilities + production knowledge = Fucking Winner. As you can imagine, the band line-up is nothing short of spectacular and it is obvious they are open to any McCartney interpretation, musical or otherwise. Again, I love the experimentation on this album and these players are extremely capable of capturing anything Sir Paul dreams up - right down to all the embedded chatter you hear in these tracks. I'm lucky to have some decent studio monitors and there is a TON of ear candy on this album. Is it there for the purists? Yep. Is it vital to the song? Of course. Can you even hear this texturing on a crappy AM radio? Yeah. It's all there. This guy is so good, he could have been a Beatle.
My first draft of this review was several weeks ago. I hate it when I over-listen an album and on this one, I did. I needed a break. While this record has been rambling in my head the whole time, I recently had a business trip where I was completely disconnected from music all together. As all of you are aware, it's really fun to come home and play the favorites, and as it turns out, this one has become one of mine.
I say, take a bite of this onion and if you don't like it, that's cool. It probably means, however, that you aren't.
Whether you like it or not.
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