Few careers are as impressive as the one of Sir Paul McCartney. From The Beatles, to Wings, to his now 17 album-long solo career, Sir Paul McCartney has been active in the music scene for nearly six decades. The question is: can Paul’s music still be fresh after all his previous releases? His newest offering, chart-topper ‘Egypt Station’, gives us the answer.
‘Egypt Station’, being 16 tracks long, offers a great variety of both upbeat and slower songs, as well as giving you the impression of going on a journey with Sir Paul McCartney himself. The first, double-sided single, ‘Come On To Me’/‘I Don’t Know’, already showcases this variety. ‘Come On To Me’ is a surprisingly youthful tune about meeting a potential romantic interest, while ‘I Don’t Know’ is a touching song about gnawing troubles and uncertainty.
The later single, ‘Fuh You’, is a heavily debated one. Whether you think the way Sir Paul McCartney sings I Just Want It Fuh You (for you) is too reminiscent of profanity or not, it is hard to deny that the song is one of the catchiest on the album. Should you rather listen to some of the other upbeat tracks, there are plenty to choose from. ‘Back In Brazil’, for example, is a groovy, funky track, while ‘Who Cares’ is an optimistic, defiant and guitar heavy tune.
Apart from the aforementioned ‘I Don’t Know’, ‘Do It Now’ and ‘Hand In Hand’ are two more beautiful songs of the slower variety. ‘Hand In Hand’ especially shows Paul’s great vocal ability, while ‘Do It Now’ inspires people to stop procrastinating and do something with their ideas.
The travelling feel of the album is well embodied by both ‘Happy With You’ and ‘Despite Repeated Warnings’. The former makes you feel as though you are traveling along with Paul, the percussion resembling the chugging of a train as he describes the things he sees in the world: Throw a pocketful of coins in the Trevi fountain / See an ice cold running stream rushing down the mountain. The latter is almost like an epic: it is a long song consisting of various parts, that follow the journey of a captain and his crew.
In this case, the length of the track adds to the value of the song. In other cases, the length of parts of the album can take away from the experience. Some intro’s feel a bit unnecessarily long, while the outro of the final track ‘Hunt You Down/Naked/C-link’ seems to drag on for quite some time. Though the ‘Naked’ part of the song does give us an interesting insight in the vulnerability of artists, the lengthy outro makes you wonder whether the album could’ve benefitted from ending two tracks earlier.
As for the question of whether Paul’s music has managed to stay fresh, the answer is an undeniable Yes. Sir Paul McCartney’s songs still feel new, and he is still very much relevant (as can be seen by the popularity of his James Corden’s Carpool Karaoke episode). ‘Egypt Station’ is brimming with good tracks and positivity. So, after all these albums: Who cares about you? I do. And you should too.