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Paul McCartney - Egypt Station (Album Review)

Friday, 14 September 2018 Written by Jacob Brookman

Photo: MPL Communications

There’s lots of context that goes into reviewing work by established artists, and they don’t come much more established than Paul McCartney. Actually, there may be too much context; too much love and affection for the most influential living songwriter in the western world. In this case, one must rely on that reliable yet oft-overlooked metric: quality. And ‘Egypt Station’ is an album of exceptional quality.

A track that ably demonstrates that is Who Cares. It’s a chugging country rock toe tapper that illustrates Macca’s ability to open up and let loose in a way that other septuagenarian rockers resist. It’s a tight, incredibly satisfying piece of music that has genuine edge despite its slightly cosy lyrical refrain: “Who cares what the idiots say / Who cares what the idiots do / Who cares about the pain in your heart? / Who cares about you? / I do!”

It dances at the familiar intersection of rock and schmaltz that has characterised a lot of McCartney’s music. In a similar spot you’ll find the Ryan Tedder-produced Fuh You, the LP’s lead single.

The song sounds like it could have been created for any number of mid-ranking American college bands, and features a familiar singalong quality to Tedder’s work with One Republic, but it is so much better than that suggests.

Over the years, a kind of intellectual snobbery has emerged around artists like McCartney that seems to want to belittle their desire to keep making music. It’s the same attitude that leads people to sneer at the moralism of U2 and the over-confidence of Sting, and one that ignores everything else that these artists have achieved.

‘Egypt Station’ is an album happy in its naïveté, and defies it through the sheer quality of the music making. Its orchestration, arrangement and melody writing are all immaculate. The production is varied but consistent and the fundamental messaging of songs with titles like People Want Peace, Hand in Hand and Happy With You remains as relevant now as it was during the Vietnam War. Of course there is schmaltz in there. What the hell did you expect? Fuh you.

Paul McCartney Upcoming Tour Dates are as follows:

Wed December 12 2018 - LIVERPOOL Liverpool Echo Arena
Fri December 14 2018 - GLASGOW SSE Hydro
Sun December 16 2018 - LONDON O2
Mon September 17 2018 - QUEBEC CITY Quebec - Videotron Centre (Canada)
Thu September 20 2018 - MONTREAL Quebec - Bell Centre (Canada)
Fri September 28 2018 - WINNIPEG Manitoba - Bell MTS Place (Canada)
Sun September 30 2018 - EDMONTON Alberta - Rogers Place (Canada)
Thu May 23 2019 - NEW ORLEANS Louisiana - Smoothie King Center (USA)
Mon May 27 2019 - RALEIGH North Carolina - PNC Arena (USA)
Thu May 30 2019 - GREENVILLE South Carolina - Bon Secours Wellness Arena (USA)
Sat June 01 2019 - LEXINGTON Kentucky - Rupp Arena (USA)
Mon June 03 2019 - FORT WAYNE Indiana - Allen County Memorial Coliseum (USA)
Thu June 06 2019 - MADISON Wisconsin - Kohl Center (USA)
Tue June 11 2019 - MOLINE Illinois - TaxSlayer Center (USA)
Wed June 26 2019 - PHOENIX Arizona - Talking Stick Resort Arena (USA)
Wed November 28 2018 - PARIS La Defense Arena (France)
Fri November 30 2018 - COPENHAGEN Royal Arena (Denmark)
Mon December 03 2018 - KRAKOW Tauron Arena (Poland)
Wed December 05 2018 - VIENNA Stadthalle (Austria)
Thu December 06 2018 - VIENNA Stadthalle (Austria)

Click here to compare & buy Paul McCartney Tickets at Stereoboard.com.

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