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"Egypt Station" Pauly McCartney

by By Joseph Massaro - Campus Talk Editor
Tue, Sep 11th 2018 05:00 pm

 

Paul McCartney has done everything. He was part of the Beatles, one of the greatest rock bands of all time and a decade later, formed a band called Wings with his late first wife, Linda McCartney, who achieved great success throughout the seventies. He has been knighted, cherished in every corner of the globe, and even influenced one of the most popular conspiracy theories in rock music. McCartney is like the George Lucas of music; what else does he need to do? At age 76, McCartney is still going strong by releasing tunes like he did in his twenties. 

“Egypt Station” is McCartney’s first release in five years. There’s a fresh contemporary sound brought in by producer, Greg Kurstin               (Beck, Sia, Adele), as well as OneRepublic frontman, Ryan Tedder, where they recorded songs in Los Angeles and England. 

When “Fuh You,” a raunchy love song, was released as a single last August, some fans saw the single as McCartney flirting in the realm of modern pop, the sound that is played on mainstream radio and deemed as “bad taste” to wise and old. With these booming strings, along with some prowling synths, it sounds cheesy and very-Katy Perry influenced oddly, but it’s still fun. Being the only Tedder-produced track on the album, it actually doesn’t fit well with the personal folk and loosened rock sound offered on “Egypt Station.” Even if “Fuh You” isn’t about holding hands or working it out, it shows how the old bloke can still write a raunchy love song. 

Shaking the sheets isn’t the only theme explored throughout “Egypt Station.” In fact, the album seems to be sort of a concept of the post-Trump/Brexit world. On the album’s opening ballad, “I Don’t Know,” you get a glimpse of this inducing fear from a discouraged observer that McCartney embodies. “Despite Repeated Warnings” also plays with the political apocalypse theme, but with a throwback to the style McCartney recorded on his early solo releases, such as “Ram” (1971). 

However on most tracks, it seems like McCartney is painting a lifetime of romance, which is where the magic is in his songwriting, especially on tracks such as “Happy with You” and “Hand in Hand.”

“Who Cares” is powered by a traditional striking and forceful guitar riff, resembling the one on “20th Century Man” by the Kinks from 1971. The cliché “People Want Peace” seems to be a sister track to John Lennon’s                                    “Give Peace a Chance” while including an opening similar to the Beatles’ “Magical Mystery Tour.” “Dominoes” the album’s masterpiece, has the Beatles-esque background vocals and enigmatic guitar solo. It sounds like something McCartney would’ve recorded during the experimental years of the fab four.

“Back in Brazil” is revolved around an exotic electronic sound, similar to the work McCartney did with Youth in electronic duo, The Fireman. “Caesar Rock” has a bit of a choppiness to it, like an early Talking Heads song. 

I don’t know what it is, but there’s something aging rock legends making exciting albums in 2018. With his most ambitious work in years, it sounds like McCartney doesn’t age a bit.