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4.3 out of 5 stars
95
4.3 out of 5 stars
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on 4 July 2009
This is the best album of Paul McCartney's solo career. A beautiful, late-autumn call for love from a supreme songwriter without a single misstep.

Think the flame burned out with the death of The Beatles? Listen closer. This album - if you give it time, and listen with ears unburdened of the weight of history - could change your mind.

Massive credit goes to producer Nigel Godrich for reigning in McCartney's more mawkish tendancies - lyrically and musically - and guiding a work that will in time be recognised as a masterpiece.

They'll turn to this album when they're putting together evidence of some of McCartney's strongest songwriting once he's gone - when the cool factor doesn't matter any more, and songwriting's valued on its own terms, finally.

"Exquisite" - that feels right.

That's the word.
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on 23 August 2006
Never really being a great McCartney fan although I personally feel that no band or artist before or since can hold a candle to the Beatles,the only previously purchased material by Paul McCartney by me was 'BAND ON THE RUN'............

I accidentally came accross 'CHAOS AND CREATION (only having heard one track played late one night on Radio 2)and am blown away by it, not one poor track,every one grows on you more and more.........no not 5 stars....10.
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Paul McCartney, never at a loss for creating extraordiary songs does not disappoint on this collection either. The music is pure McCartney; the lyrics nonpareil. Paul McCartney is a song writer in a class by himself. He has definitely raised the musical bar once again.
"Fine Line" is of extraordinary caliber and "Jenny Wren" is noted for its beautiful acoustic and Paul's singing. "English Tea" brings to mind the Beatle years; in listening to this, one can imagine Paul in 1967 singing this and it would be as wonderful and outstanding as it is as a recent work. Indeed, this one does hearken back to Beatle days; one can indeed hear the unique influence as only Paul McCartney can provide.
"Too Much Rain" and "Riding to Vanity Fair" are excellent songs that work as "counterpoint" or contradictory pieces. The songs both show Paul at his cutting edge best.
This is the kind of thing I hope we'll hear more of over time. Paul McCartney has indeed shown a musical renaissance as well as his musical roots which are with the Beatles. He deftly combines these and the result is nothing short of brilliant. In effect, one can liken this to Gestalt - the sum being greater than the whole of its parts. In this case, the parts being Paul's musical background with the Beatles and later with Wings and his more current solo works. This is indeed a beautifully done Gestalt listening experience.
No Beatle fan and/or Paul McCartney fan should be without this one. The song writing is just spectactular. You also get a DVD with a very nice doumentary about the creation of this CD. You also get some animated footage as well. Be sure to get this one and get ready for some high caliber music!
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on 16 September 2005
Rumours of a return to form are this time well founded. Using the Radiohead producer Nigel Godrich to challenge him and ensure substance triumphs over superficiality what you have here is the portrait of an ageing artist.
As McCartney enters old age the overall themes are perhaps not surprisingly ones of sadness, loss and reflection. Whilst there may be no classic all the songs mesh together well and in a slow burning fashion remain in your consciousness long after listening.
Songs most memorable are:
"Fine Line" - a gentle rocker with wise words,
"Jenny Wren" - nice word play, a more sophisticated (lyrically) but less melodic "Blackbird",
"English Tea" - a more likeable 20's style "Your Mother Should Know",
"Too Much Rain"- probably the best song on the album about the sadness of human experience,
"A Certain Softness" - a lilting rather seductive samba style ballad
and "Riding To Vanity Fair" - here Paul shows unusual fallibility in looking for friendship that is not reciprocated.
Not just for the fan but for the lover of accessable, poignant chansons the edition is complimented on its DVD by a good 30 minute "making of" documentary, an animated self portrait accompanied by instrumentals from the album and a studio performance of "Fine Line" by Paul.
PS There is also a hidden track!!!
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on 5 October 2005
What can I say? I never expected this to happen again. A McCartney album with such depth. I listened to it more on the first day I got it then I ever listened to the also critically aclaimed Driving Rain.
On CACITB you will find no fillers. Every track matters. The only one I'm not realy fond of is A Certain Softness, but that doesn't make it a bad song. A Fine Line is jumpy, joyous and highly listneable. Jenny Wren ranks among the best he's ever done. English Tea makes me laugh and paints pretty pictures like Penny Lane. Too Much Rain, Promise to you girl, At the Mercy, Anyway, Follow Me. It's cleverly arranged, very peronal and as I said no fillers. His last two albums Flaming Pie and Driving Rain were not bad, but I missed the effort he put for example in Flowers in the Dirt, Ram and Tug of War for example. And all those reviewers who compare it to McCartney I and II. Well, he plays most of the instrument himself, but that's were the comparisson stops. Only the hidden track after Anyway could be on McCartney I, but that'just about it. Don't hesitate and buy. O yeah. The DVD is also quite interesting (as far as they go).
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What a scintillating, perfectly timed and paced album this is. An truly inventive, musically unpredictable set of thirteen songs, about the length of an LP, not a note wasted, Paul in terrific voice, the likably slight huskiness it now possesses giving it a compelling edge.
The only other albums of his I've heard that I'd rate its equal are the superb, much earlier Flaming Pie and Flowers in the Dirt. Paul's gone from being a Beatle to a Wing to, simply, a great singer-songwriter.
I'll never tire of this beautiful selection of songs, each one composed with the kind of loving care not always displayed on previous Macca releases, solo or Winged.
As I listen, each song seems to outdo the last until the double whammy, just over halfway through, of A Certain Softness followed by the utterly brilliant Riding To Vanity Fair. This is Paul McCartney at his peerless best, and I for one am grateful.
The cover's a classic too!

A great Paul McCartney album.
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on 9 December 2014
This album was a 40th birthday present. To be honest I have only now really listened to it. This is without doubt a wonderful collection of songs. I would go as far to say that this album is McCartney's best. Yes it really that good. Some tracks are truly moving. Every track is heartfelt and beautifully performed and produced. There are some songs that will bring a tear to my eye. In the years to come this wonderful work will be looked upon as Paul McCartney's finest hour.
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on 12 September 2005
With McCartney's last offering, Driving Rain, he took a huge sonic leap forward (if such a thing is possible?), creating a sound that was more 21st century. Bringing producer Nigel Godrich onboard has meant that Paul's finally arrived in the present. McCartney stands and falls as a songwriter and Jenny Wren (great vocal/song/arrangement) is one of his finest tracks ever. Overall, his voice sounds great and even the deliberately twee English Tea comes as a great refresher at just the right time. I would have liked to have given the album five stars but I'm not a great fan of his more personal songs; those that are will find one or two (or three) on the CD. Finally, the DVD in the 2 disc set makes a nice companion coming with a bonus documentary, performance and animation. To great effect, Godrich has thrown the kitchen sink at this album - infact I'm surprised it's not listed alongside Duduk as one of the instruments!
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on 20 September 2005
Now this is how I like my McCartney! Fresh, surprising, tunefull, up close and personal. Paul really delivers with this outstanding collection of songs.
The special edition is a nice package as it comes with a slipcover and most importantly a DVD featuring a documentary on the making of Chaos and Creation in the Backyard. Paul and producer Nigel discuss the songs and the processes involved in creating the album. Really enjoyed the DVD and it was a highlight to see McCartney in the studio playing various instruments. Very interesting to see all the differing kinds of intruments and equipment he uses.
Since I picked up this album I have been listening to it. This is the album I've been waiting years for him to make! Kudos to Paul! HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
0Comment| 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
Paul McCartney, never at a loss for creating extraordiary songs does not disappoint on this collection either. The music is pure McCartney; the lyrics nonpareil. Paul McCartney is a song writer in a class by himself. He has definitely raised the musical bar once again.
"Fine Line" is of extraordinary caliber and "Jenny Wren" is noted for its beautiful acoustic and Paul's singing. "English Tea" brings to mind the Beatle years; in listening to this, one can imagine Paul in 1967 singing this and it would be as wonderful and outstanding as it is as a recent work. Indeed, this one does hearken back to Beatle days; one can indeed hear the unique influence as only Paul McCartney can provide.
"Too Much Rain" and "Riding to Vanity Fair" are excellent songs that work as "counterpoint" or contradictory pieces. The songs both show Paul at his cutting edge best.
This is the kind of thing I hope we'll hear more of over time. Paul McCartney has indeed shown a musical renaissance as well as his musical roots which are with the Beatles. He deftly combines these and the result is nothing short of brilliant. In effect, one can liken this to Gestalt - the sum being greater than the whole of its parts. In this case, the parts being Paul's musical background with the Beatles and later with Wings and his more current solo works. This is indeed a beautifully done Gestalt listening experience.
No Beatle fan and/or Paul McCartney fan should be without this one. The song writing is just spectactular. You also get a DVD with a very nice doumentary about the creation of this CD. You also get some animated footage as well. Be sure to get this one and get ready for some high caliber music!
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