Sound — 8
Paul McCartney is one of the most instantly recognizable and influential figures in rock and roll. Throughout his five decade long career, McCartney assisted in writing some of the most beloved songs of the genre. He began performing music at the age of fifteen with one John Lennon as part of the band known as The Quarrymen, before going on to help form The Beatles in 1960. A decade of memorable music and a formidable list of now timeless records would soon follow, and his songwriting partnership with Lennon would go on to be one of the most celebrated in the 20th century. When The Beatles broke up in 1970, Paul McCartney went straight ahead and launched a new project called Wings the following year. Wings released seven studio albums during their decade long run, and spawned a number of memorable rock radio hits including "Live and Let Die," "Jet" and "Band on the Run." When Wings would eventually disband in '81, Paul McCartney would go on to heavily focus on his solo career. No matter which group he was part of, McCartney remained passionate about his craft, and it was evident through his music. McCartney has since been named "the most successful composer and recording artist of all time," selling over 100 million albums and 100 million singles, having 32 singles chart at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100, and having certified 60 gold discs. If Paul McCartney was not passionate about music, he could easily quit right here and now. But at age 71, he still has something to prove, more music to give to the world, new musical frontiers to embrace and try his hand at. With his recently released sixteenth studio album, "New," Paul McCartney delivers a harmony-infused collection of standout new compositions. First off, it is important to note the production quality which "New" glamorously boasts. It manages to keep things sounding like a new Paul McCartney album should in 2013, without losing any of the compositional magic or downplaying the actual musicianship. Songs such as the title track are about as nostalgic as you could get. Beatle-esque vocal melodies, a bass line you could sing along to and a formidable piano accompaniment. Unlike a number of other established groups who have been dubbed under the "classic rock" category, Paul McCartney doesn't implement the use of the piano just to have the piano in the song, but manage to make it one with the rest of the composition.
Lyrics — 8
For a man who has spent his entire career singing high pitched vocal melodies, Paul McCartney still has one hell of a range, and isn't afraid to use it. His singing style on such songs as the aforementioned title track are one of the main factors which tie together this new outing to his previous works, and is a quality that any established fan will be able to appreciate. Paul may not sound like a twenty year old anymore, and that's because he isn't, but he doesn't let that stop him and it doesn't take anything away from the rest of the music.
Overall Impression — 8
For his first collection of all original material since 2007, Paul McCartney gives a glorious return-to-form with his sixteenth studio album, "New." Paul manages to merge together the modern pop rock sound of mainstream with his nostalgic delivery and personal influences without having any stylistic clashes. The production is of impressive quality, and is modern enough to earn airplay on pop radio without taking away from the instantly recognizable sound you have with a new Paul McCartney record. Any established fan will be able to appreciate this new outing from the former Beatle, as well as any classic rock follower.