Customer Review

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's getting better (finally!), 24 Oct. 2009
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This review is from: Chaos And Creation In The Backyard (Audio CD)
After staying with Paul all these years, finding the odd gem among the poor stuff that fills many Wings and Macca solo albums, finally I can report that he has produced the masterpiece we have been waiting for. This is his best collection of songs since the White Album, which means, yes, it is better than Abbey Road, Band on the Run, Flowers in the Dirt and Flaming Pie. It truly is THAT good! The arrangements and production have been rightly praised in the reviews on this page, but it is the songwriting that shines throughout the album. This is a master craftsman finally rediscovering the muse that made him one of the greatest ever. The centrepiece of the album is Riding to Vanity Fair, a superb song in every way, but from then it picks up second wind, ending with a blaze of glory in the Lady Madonna-esque Promise to you girl, then two of the most gorgeous ballads Paul has ever written, This Never Happened Before and Anyway. Breathtaking. If you grew up loving the Beatles and have looked on in exasperation as Paul has produced mediocre albums, one after another, then rejoice! Here at last is an album worthy to stand alongside the best of his work with the Beatles. Praise indeed, but richly deserved in this case. You will not be disappointed.
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Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 3 Jul 2012 20:27:52 BDT
Good review.
I would agree this is Paul's finest album, and in places, is on par with some of his greatest work with the Fabs. I would guess producer Nigel Godrich didn't fall into the trap previous producers (not George Martin) seemed to have succumbed to...being in awe of the great man himself. Nigel Godrich seems to have bluntly pointed out Paul's strengths and weaknesses to him resulting in a classic collection of chaos and creation. I think this album was made after," Memory Almost Full", but released first. Compare the two and this one is a winner hands down!

In reply to an earlier post on 12 Oct 2013 12:24:57 BDT
' Compare the two and this one is a winner hands down! '

Which is probably why they gave Memory Almost Full away with the Sunday papers !

I *love* this album, so much so that I've just ordered my second copy after finally accepting the other one is lost somewhere (It'll probably turn up somewhere tomorrow now won't it?). The ballads on it can quite literally cause me to shed a tear.

What reminded me to pick this up again is that I am currently sat here with the missus who is currently watching the musical hell that is 'Glee' in the background who seem to be doing a Beatles-themed 'special'. It is beyond awful but it did lead me to get around to re-ordering this brilliant album which, and I agree with Terry's view here, is at times anything as good as some of the Beatles hits.

Anyway, nice to know 'Glee' is good for *something* after all..

Posted on 7 Jul 2014 22:35:56 BDT
Last edited by the author on 10 Jul 2014 15:14:54 BDT
gille liath says:
Big claims in this review; I was sceptical but I took a punt. The craftsmanship is there, I guess, but what's missing is the life force. This is an old man's album about winding down towards the end, quite a shock from someone who always seemed so energetic and positive (and it was nearly 10 years ago already!) - the lyrics make it sound like this has all been a mask. Even the love songs have a 'no fool like an old fool' diffidence about them. Preferring this to Abbey Road is like preferring death to life; You Never Give Me Your Money easily outweighs the lot on its own.

Not to say that it's bad - there are certainly a couple of genuinely good songs - but it's depressing. He's been accused of too many 'silly love songs', but this is a bit *too* real, too heavy. The closest I can think of to it is Johnny Cash's 'American' albums - but this is much more personal.

Also - I realise it's a bit churlish - but knowing that the love songs are about Heather Mills puts me off.

One other notable thing: he sings closer to his spoken accent here, on some songs anyway, than I've ever heard.

In reply to an earlier post on 23 Nov 2014 16:46:31 GMT
I know Gille is only expressing a personal opinion which is perfectly valid, but when I read this in the light of other common critiques I get the feeling that the man can't win.

If it's not soppy then it's too serious. If he shows youthful vitality then he's like an embarrassing uncle; if he's thoughtful then he's too heavy. If he writes expressive love songs then he's too romantic; if he writes reflective, considered songs of love then he's too diffident. If he writes third-party 'novelist' songs then he is inauthentic; if he writes about himself he is too personal. If he embraces joy and fun then he is naïve, superficial; if he writes maturely and ruefully about wisdom gained he is a depressing old man.

I think the problem (again speaking generally, not to you Gilles) is like that of the blind men and the elephant, each feeling a leg or trunk and dismissing it because they don't care for trees or are scared of snakes: they need to know the animal entire to appreciate the shape of it.

Paul McCartney as a whole is simply too large to be grasped unless our appreciation of the possibilities of all styles and moods and genres of musical invention is as catholic as his own.
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