McCartney's easy melodicism is re-booted by a raft of youngish producers.

The album cover of Paul McCartney's new album, New.
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Paul McCartney


(Virgin EMI)


It’s remarkable, given his contributions to the canon, that Paul McCartney has rarely fretted about his music. Whether trifling as The Frog Chorus-accompanied We All Stand Together or towering as Yesterday, his compositions have always been presented with a relaxed impartiality. His 16th solo album also sounds as though it was birthed painlessly. Macca’s easy melodicism is rebooted by a raft of youngish producers including the Adele collaborator Paul Epworth and George Martin’s son, Giles. Though Looking at Her is an overly saccharine love song that Martin’s inventive production can’t quite redeem, New soon proves to be McCartney’s most satisfying album in yonks. Queenie Eye is a fine, free-flowing nonsense song with shades of I Am the Walrus. Alligator evokes Band on the Run-era Wings in style, and the odd, brooding Appreciate shows that Macca can still innovate. Elsewhere, on Early Days, our host reclaims The Beatles backstory. “They can’t take it from me,” sings McCartney. “I lived through those early days.”