13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
His best album for many many years,
This review is from: Chaos And Creation In The Backyard (Audio CD)
There's not a lot of chaos in the end result but lots of dedicated creativity to produce the best album Paul McCartney has made in a long time - if not his best post-Beatles LP ever.
A lot of credit has to go to renowned producer Nigel Goodrich who insisted on Macca eschewing his touring band and playing virtually every instrument. No respecter of reputation, Goodrich by all accounts worked his charge very hard to get the best results. His production also gives the album a modern sound whilst retaining those distinct McCartney characteristics.
Some credit also has to go to the brilliant arranger and sometime Divine Comedy member Joby Talbot who arranged the background strings and brass on several songs. Talbot's arrangements always embellish rather than take over the tunes with his work on the gloriously whimsical English Tea being a particularly fine example of his talents.
Most of the credit though has to go to Paul McCartney himself for a set of stripped down, catchy but long-lasting songs and some excellent playing. The lyrics - so often a cloying bugbear of Paul's solo work - are also excellent being slightly vague and very readable. It's a measure of Macca's creativity and confidence that several songs on Chaos & Creation are rightly two-three minutes long rather than being unnecessarily fleshed out to use up CD space.
Particular highlights for me range from the poppy Fine Line and Friends To Go to the more atmospheric Riding To Vanity Fair. Further highlights include the brilliant, meditative Jenny Wren, deliberately written and arranged in a similar style to The Beatles' Blackbird, and the aforementioned quintessentially eccentric English Tea. No one plays either of these styles as well as McCartney.
Although there was plenty of chaos in the creation of C&CITBY, it was well worth all the studio conflict. A brilliant album by an artist making his best music for many many years.