Paul McCartney's 'New' album: What's the verdict?
October 15th, 2013
04:39 PM ET

Paul McCartney's 'New' album: What's the verdict?

Macca's still got it.

At 71, Paul McCartney has unveiled a new collection of songs, helpfully titled "New," and critics are agreeing that the former Beatle has delivered a sonically fresh album.

"With peaks as high as any music he's done this century and nary a valley as low as ... his oft-treacly last record of standards, 'Kisses on the Bottom,' Paul McCartney's latest studio album is pretty damned good," says the Los Angeles Times. Across 13 songs, including a bonus track, McCartney shifts "from hard rock to gentle balladry to new wave-inflected pop-rock (balancing) past and present, memory and the future, distortion and clarity, (and) notions of new and old."

It makes sense that McCartney would embrace the past while looking toward the future on "New," his first original studio offering in six years. In order to pull it off, McCartney enlisted super-producers like Mark Ronson, Paul Epworth and Giles Martin, "each of whom has succeeded in challenging him and getting him to take risks," the Washington Post says in a review. "More than just the mercurial sonics are affecting and original here; the lyrics, too, are anything but slapdash or off-the-cuff."

Of course, in this "nostalgia-obsessed age," NME says, "there’s never been a better time to be a pensionable rock legend with a new record."

But McCartney's "New" is genuinely progressive, rather than just a ploy to satisfy the hordes who'll support an aging rocker on the grounds of memories alone.

"Happily, ‘New’ avoids becoming another thumbs-akimbo entry into the Groovy Uncle Paul canon," NME critiques, giving "New" a seven out of 10. "Instead, it’s his most enjoyable record in years."

Filed under: Celebrities • Music

soundoff (10 Responses)
  1. Sue Clark

    I am 22 yrs old and a HUGE Beatles fan! I picked up the cd (I still like having cd's) and listened to it a few times and I think it is really great! There are several songs on it that are awesome! I love Save Us, and Road the best. Queenie Eye is good too. I would highly recommend it.

    November 3, 2013 at 10:05 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Bob

    Great. Any time a member of the Beatles so much as even farts, everyone's on it like white on rice.

    Fact: The Beatles were a boy band. A boy band on the influence of drugs, admittedly, but a boy band nonetheless.

    November 1, 2013 at 11:20 am | Report abuse |
    • Hank

      A boy band that changed the world from 1962-1969 and still making the news and selling millions of records in 2013 and have a new cd coming in Nov .Yeah.. The Beatles were just a boy band..

      November 4, 2013 at 4:00 am | Report abuse |
  3. Sergio

    Folks always remember, he was the "BEATLES" plus John

    October 25, 2013 at 2:34 pm | Report abuse |
  4. dave

    Ringo was one of the most influential drummers of his day. Read the praises heaped upon him by studio players like Jim Keltner and Greg Bissonette (who tours with him now), and you will understand how deep his pocket is, and how he always played the song. Did not move outside the groove. I have been a professional player for 45 years (not drums, but bass), and the Beatles were my inspiration to do it. Listen to many in the drum community and you will see the high place Ringo holds among his peers. To say he is awful is to not understand.

    October 25, 2013 at 1:24 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Paut Fan

    New song is pretty good...he's 71 now his boyish voice has not changed at all I will by the new cd. I hear Ringo helped on drums. Maybe we will see one final performance of the 2 remaining beatles at some point.

    October 18, 2013 at 11:50 am | Report abuse |
    • Pppa

      Rock and Jim,

      Ringo is the reason studio drums and drummers sound the way they do today. His technique is amazing in that his decisions on when and how to play are arguably perfect.

      And Jim, Ringo does a great solo on Abbey Road. I'm not surprised you didn't know that, because of your obvious lack of any musical knowledge or history. But you can do better Jim, you really can, and maybe even influence Neanderthals like Rock someday. Someday...

      October 28, 2013 at 5:03 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Todd Yost

    Just picked up the new CD yesterday. Haven't had as much of a chance to really get into it yet, but from a first go around, here is my opinnion. I am, and have always been a fan of Paul's music, from Beatle, to the 71 year old, who can play for three hours without sitting down, or taking a bathroom break! So, I always anxiously await one of his new works, this one being no exception. There is an obvious feeling of Paul working with producers whom have a real influence on today's music. There is a nice collaboration of expected paulisms, being intertwined with a modern treatment of the music, which felt at times like an altogether different artist. Good stuff! I will admit, that one of the songs did not appeal to me, however there is a one song, i can't recall the name now, but I think it is "early Days" or something like that. This is one of his best songs ever in my opinnion! An instant McCartney classic! Even just the music alone is beautiful!! So, all in all, definately a good listen!!

    October 16, 2013 at 4:41 pm | Report abuse |

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