Paul McCartney’s New: Album Review
There is much to be learned from Paul McCartney’s album New. But is it really as he’s saying? Is it really “new?” Some of the sound is new–he uses electronic music–but some sounds are old. Perhaps what’s “new”est, though, is the message.
The album New has certain new sounds to it. Electronic beats are pervasive throughout the music. There is a melody that sounds Oriental in “On My Way to Work,” and “Alligator” sounds like Jamaican pop–only made from a xylophone. There is a heavy electronic beat present in “Looking at Here,” but the themes of the songs — breaking up, wanting love, and falling in love — respectfully, are old themes.
In contrast, “Early Days,” “Hosanna,” “Scared,” and “Queenie Eye” are relatively new themes: remembering your roots (and remembering that only you know what happened and to ignore the critics); staying up with the love of your life to see the sunrise; not being brave enough to say “I love you;” and not having the answers to life are set to familiar sounds. “Early Days” is accoustic, “Hosanna” has an electronic, sped-up noise as in the Beatles song “Tomorrow Never Knows” (which is mainly a Lennon song), “Scared” is piano-based and sounds like “How Very Kind of You,” and “Queenie Eye” starts out like “Only Mama Knows.”
Then there are the new songs with new messages. “Save Us” is about trying to save a relationship and is a fast, but different type of, rocker. “Everybody Out There” is about doing good in the world and it, too, has a unique sound. “Appreciate” is about appreciating what you have in life, including love, and it has a dark sound; it’s almost the opposite of “Gratitude.” “New” is a song about people rekindling their relationship and sounds completely different than past songs. “I Can Bet” is about what’s coming up and what he’ll do next, and is ambiguous as to whether he is talking to someone he knows (“I’m your man” is mentioned), but it sounds like he is talking to the listener.
But what is really new is the tale that New tells. It’s about falling out of love, being depressed, remembering your roots, doing something good in the word, and rebirth with a new love of his life. It is unique in that this tells us really what a breakup and a new life with someone else feels to him. This is McCartney wearing his heart on his sleeve, inspiring others, and ultimately enjoying his life. This is what he is all about.
Images Courtesy of Paul McCartney.com