The cheesiest Beatle shows a different side |

The cheesiest Beatle shows a different side

Pete Fowler
Special to the DailyChaos and Creation in the Backyard stands out as Paul McCartneys freshest sounding album in years. I decided to lay it on the line for myself and challenge myself and say, Youre going to make a good album here, the musician told the Associated Press.

Regardless of anyone’s taste for the style, Paul McCartney’s latest CD is a carefully crafted, polished studio gem. The 63-year-old ex-Beatle hired veteran producer Nigel Godrich who has worked with Radiohead and Beck to oversee the recording. Having boundless studio experience himself, McCartney plays nearly all of the many different instruments on the CD. The result of the overdubbing with such an experienced producer is a very smooth blend of many distinct voices and textures.

Of course, the album is reminiscent of the Beatles’ and McCartney’s earlier solo works, but it also stands apart as being a bit darker and more mysterious. McCartney’s voice is front and center, effortlessly gliding through the high notes. Wistful and full of yearning as ever, it gives the songs a strong sense of emotional conviction. But unlike the dorky, overly cheerful love songs that he has written in the past, this album sounds more mature. For the most part, the album entices the listener into a world of swirling musical ideas that are sometimes playful and usually a bit eerie and surreal. On “Jenny Wren,” a haunting, hollow sounding Armenian woodwind called the Duduk takes the song into a shadowy dreamlike state.Instruments like the melodica, harmonium, flugalhorn, recorders and cello give the album a pseudo-orchestral sound that is definitely not rock. Differing from a lot of older material, this approach is not a cheesy grasp at sounding more unique. Unusual and nonrock instruments tastefully accent many songs because they are not overdone.

“Chaos and Creation in the Backyard” is a step into new territory for McCartney. He seemed to admit as much when he told the Associated Press: “I decided to lay it on the line for myself and challenge myself and say, ‘You’re going to make a good album here.'”

Pete Fowler is a freelance writer and can be reached at Vail, Colorado

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