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Latest reviews

Song Review

Hope for the Future

December 23, 2014

Paul McCartney has lived through plenty of cultural changes – including, it seems, an era in which video games have soundtracks written by legendary former Beatles. This song for the new game Destiny is a gently ringing paean to human possibility...

Album Review

The Art of McCartney

November 19, 2014

It makes sense that Paul McCartney would inspire one of the most impressive tribute-album lineups ever assembled. This 42-song blowout has everything from Willie Nelson doing a raggedly loving "Yesterday" to Billy Joel crushing "Maybe I’m Amazed."...

Album Review

New

October 15, 2013

Sure, last year's set of pre-rock pop standards (Kisses on the Bottom) was charming. But at 71, Paul McCartney has thankfully returned to the music of eternal youth. Recorded with a round robin of top-flight producers, including retro-modernist Mark Ronson,...

Album Review

Kisses on the Bottom

February 7, 2012

What’s most surprising about Paul McCartney’s new LP is not that it’s full of pre-rock pop standards, but that it took him so long to get around to this kind of project. He was the son of a jazz band leader who turned the future Beatle...

Album Review

Rave On Buddy Holly

June 28, 2011

When Buddy Holly died in February 1959 - in the plane crash that also claimed Ritchie Valens and the Big Bopper - he was just 22 and had only been a star since the fall of '57, when his first single with the Crickets, "That'll Be the Day," went to Number...

Album Review

McCartney (Reissue)

June 14, 2011

Cut a decade apart, mostly without any collaborators, these two albums feel like outtake sets, in the best possible way: music that chases any crazy idea down a dark alley. Released three weeks before Let It Be in 1970, McCartney announced Paul's love...

Album Review

Memory Almost Full

May 30, 2007

What's most remarkable about Paul McCartney's inaugural album for Starbucks' Hear Music imprint is its cross-promotional hoo-ha. To win it space on his demographic's overloaded cerebral hard drives, Memory Almost Full will play all day June 5th in every...

Album Review

Driving Rain

October 30, 2001

"Not that this should come as a shock — though after all these years it often goes unnoticed or taken for granted — but Paul McCartney is one kick-ass bass player. A listener could live inside the voluptuous notes he so effortlessly threads...

Album Review

Venus and Mars

May 3, 2001
Not Rated

As time goes by, John Lennon's importance to the Beatles becomes more and more self-evident. The same old story we've been hearing for years — that Lennon's wit and abrasive probing were needed to balance Paul McCartney's melodic charm and sweetness...

Album Review

Flaming Pie

June 6, 1997

The Beatles' "anthology" projects clearly left Paul McCartney in a reflective frame of mind. Too often in the past, that would mean a douse in a nostalgia bath, but on Flaming Pie, McCartney's look back is a genuine search — as though he were uncertain...

Album Review

Off The Ground

February 18, 1993

In addition to copiloting the greatest bands in rock & roll history, Paul McCartney and Mick Jagger have something else in common: Both have watched their solo careers sputter. McCartney hasn't placed an album or single at the top of the charts in...

Live Review

Paul McCartney Closes Candlestick Park 'In Style'

August 15, 2014

The Beatles' last-ever concert happened in August of 1966, at San Francisco's Candlestick Park. Home for decades to the Giants and the 49ers, the open-air venue now faces imminent demolition, and last night, Paul McCartney – dressed like a dandyish...

Song Review

"New"

September 10, 2013

Macca's latest sounds old, title notwithstanding, but in the best way. A Beatlesque pop confection with tasty production by retro-modernist Mark Ronson, "New" rides along on a bouncy harpsichord-flavored melody line and a touch of brass that recalls "Got...

Song Review

"My Valentine"

January 4, 2012

Written for his new wife and performed at their wedding, this cocktail-blues piano ballad finds McCartney adrift in a Tin Pan Alley fantasy. Eric Clapton’s acoustic jazz ripples add to the wee-small-hours intimacy. It’s old guys being old...

Album Review

McCartney II (Reissue)

June 14, 2011

Cut a decade apart, mostly without any collaborators, these two albums feel like outtake sets, in the best possible way: music that chases any crazy idea down a dark alley. Released three weeks before Let It Be in 1970, McCartney announced Paul's...

Album Review

Good Evening New York City

November 16, 2009

Forty-four years after the Beatles first played Shea Stadium, Paul McCartney returned to Queens to play the first concert at Citi Field. Withan exceptionally well-preserved voice, Macca plows through Beatles andWings hits, plus solo gems. This is McCartney's...

Album Review

Chaos and Creation in the Backyard

September 22, 2005

The premise of Paul McCartney working with Nigel Godrich was clear from the start. McCartney wanted a producer who appreciated his storied past but at the same time believed that, at sixty-three, he has a vital future. For his part, Godrich — who...

Album Review

Paul Is Live

May 3, 2001
Not Rated

From its people-pleasin' serving of 24 tracks (hits, recent product and two unrevealing jams) to its air of mass nostalgia, this is exactly the ticket to infuriate McCartneyphobes. But through the unarguable strength of the songs captured on this New...

Album Review

Run Devil Run

October 28, 1999

Some of the greatest rock rock concerts I ever witnessed were Paul McCartney sound checks. Few touring artists get loose like the former Fab, who warms up for his slick stadium and arena shows with long sets of rock and R&B standards — material...

Album Review

Band On The Run

January 21, 1997
Not Rated

Everyone eventually winds up writing about themselves — the problem is finding the best way to go about it. To write about oneself literally, in the first person, presumes a more interesting personal life and philosophy than most rock lyricists...

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