Legendary rocker Sir Paul McCartney is not one to shy away from the challenge of creating hits within the ever-changing world of music. However, contemporary music’s auto-tuned sound is in obvious contrast to McCartney’s intricate and multi-instrumental talent.
Many artists McCartney’s age who saw their career highs in the Woodstock and post-Vietnam War era have fallen to the title of a “has-been” because of an inability to keep up with new musicians. That, however, has simply never been the style of the man who played his way to the founding of psychedelic rock, alongside John Lennon, George Harrison, Ringo Starr and other iconic artists. And McCartney’s latest album “Egypt Station,” only seems to strengthen his case.
Since his reign with the Fab Four, the Beatle has mastered new techniques and embraced alternative sounds of the industry, collaborating with names like Kanye West and Rihanna. Their hit single, “Four Five Seconds,” put McCartney’s well-known versatility on full display, an attribute that has kept his name on the charts decades after Beatlemania.
With “Egypt Station,” McCartney’s 17th post-Beatles album, the 76-year-old continues to break barriers in his already impressively influential career. This week, the “Silly Love Songs” singer is battling Eminem’s “Kamikaze” for the No. 1 spot on the Billboard’s 200 album chart.
McCartney has appeared on James Corden’s “Carpool Karaoke” and Jimmy Fallon’s “The Tonight Show” in promotion of his new album. In both appearances, the Beatle discussed his influences for some of the most anticipated and talked about tracks of “Egypt Station,” including “Despite Repeated Warnings” — inspired by Donald Trump’s climate change denial.
With an idiosyncratic blend of contemporary ideas and sounds, mixed with classic McCartney-isms, “Egypt Station” is sure to become yet another shining trophy in the rocker’s successful career and a complete thrill for Beatles fans.
Here are six of the best tracks from “Egypt Station.”
1. “Come on to Me”
Despite his age, McCartney is comfortable writing lyrics centered on his libido. The fun and flirty track “Come on to Me” was one of the first few singles released from “Egypt Station.”
The song instantly excited fans with the adventurous sounding guitar that pulled listeners right into the journey of McCartney’s intimate fantasy, singing, “I saw you flash a smile that seemed to me to say / You wanted so much more than casual conversation.”
With the echoing “do, do, do-do-do, do” and spirited horns that follow, this rock-oriented composition completely erases all thoughts of an aging Sir Paul McCartney.
2. “Fuh You”
Continuing his more sexual tone, McCartney’s “Fuh You” received mixed reviews. Some critics ripped the lack of instrumental creativity, referring to the song as mostly “One Republic-esque fluff.” Others say that the song does nothing but lead listeners to a disturbing image of an old sleaze who wears leather pants and hits on barely-of-age girls.
However, for those who have stuck with McCartney on his long and winding road, his music is timeless. Therefore, themes and context that would typically be VIP sectioned only for young artists, have yet to become a corner piece for the rocker who describes the song as “sort of a love song, but a raunchy love song.”
“Fuh You” will most likely not go down as one of McCartney’s greatest hits, but the whimsical lyrics and fun beat that are so reflective of the Beatle’s character make it a worthy mention among the album’s track listing.
3. “I Don’t Know”
For the critics swinging at “Egypt Station” for its scattered moods and themes, they’re not wrong. McCartney does jump from expressive vulgarity to a surprisingly intimate and uncharacteristically sorrowful tone, as well as a variety of other topics. However, most fans of Macca would probably agree this diversity isn’t surprising, as McCartney has always seemed to have this attitude of “Why do one thing when 10 can be done at the same time?” And it works!
“I Don’t Know” serves as one of the heavier songs of the album. McCartney describes facing self-doubt and uncertainty following a difficult time in his life, saying, “I got crows at my window, dogs at my door / I don’t think I can take anymore / What am I doing wrong? I don’t know.”
4. “Who Cares”
This “Egypt Station” track stands as one of McCartney’s more pep-talk-toned creations, offering support to young listeners who face bullying. With a “Band on the Run” feel instrumentally, the song promotes a sweet message from what feels like the coolest grandpa ever.
The upbeat chorus, “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,” was said to have been inspired by Taylor Swift’s “sisterly” relationship with her fans.
“Confidante” slows things down again on “Egypt Station” with what comes off as a love letter to McCartney’s trusty guitar. In the song, Macca talks about putting his “underneath-the-staircase friend” away after their best years together.
McCartney shared with The Sun that he was at home one day and propped in the corner of the room was his old Martin guitar. He began to feel a sort of sadness with the realization that he hadn’t played it as much as he used to, thinking that he had fallen out of love with what he once considered to be “like a friend, a confidante.”
The acoustic ballad is comforting to fans of McCartney. In both the lyrics and melancholic sound of “Confidante,” listeners are reassured that the Fab Macca has yet again, fallen in love with playing.
6. “Hunt You Down / Naked / C-Link”
In this brilliantly crafted three-part song, McCartney’s legendary electric sound shoves its way through — once more omitting the fact that this is a 76-year-old playing.
The first part of the song “Hunt You Down” holds the rock vibe but pulls listeners in with a blues tone when McCartney sings, “I can’t find my love, no matter how hard I try.”
It then goes into “Naked” where the Beatle describes points in life where people feel vulnerable and exposed. A feeling where you spend so much time trying to cover yourself that you become reduced to a feeling of, “I don’t know how to deal with this.”
“C-Link” really amps up the song with McCartney’s heavy electric guitar playing, where he even throws in a little “woo!”
The “Abbey Road” inspired melody perfectly ends the album leaving listeners feeling regenerated from the long-awaited return of the legendary music icon and hoping that in the years to come, the apparently immortal Macca will bring more.