New Music Review: Egypt Station (Paul McCartney, 2018) 3.5 Stars
Driving through the Blue Ridge Mountains from Nashville, TN to Richmond, VA, I downloaded and listened to Paul McCartney's latest release "Egypt Station." Track by track - Here are my thoughts.
(Note: This is NOT a serious digestion of this work, one which I'm very capable of and may write later. Just some riffing while driving in the rain with a casual first listen.)
1. Opening Station (0:41)
Nice. A concept record. Atmosphere and ambience. Dig it.
2. I Don't Know (4:26)
Someone should help Paul figure out what's wrong with him. He's been doing this long enough he should know by now.
3. Come On To Me (4:10)
Paul McCartney seems to be having trouble finding a girlfriend. He's a little shy and introverted and seems to be waiting for her to make the first move. Perhaps he should seek the advice of a therapist.
4. Happy With You (3:34)
Paul McCartney seems to have landed the girl. They've been together for some time. This, or he's singing to himself in the mirror.
5. Who Cares (3:13)
Paul McCartney really cares about his fellow man. This is evident in this song.
6. Fuh You (3:23)
Paul McCartney keeps it clean in this one. A song to his girlfriend about how he just wants to "fuh you." He's grown bored with his lady and is just in it for the sex. Thanks for the honesty though.
7. Confidante (3:04)
When this song first started I thought I was listening to one of my old work tapes. Production is sparse and low fi. Paul McCartney seems to have ended his fling. He was tired of using her. Yet the entire song is spent recalling what he held dear about their time together. Is he regretting sending her packing? Or does this song go back further - a moment of grief for his lost Linda?
8. People Want Peace (2:59)
On a serious note, Paul McCartney appeals to all mankind to stop hurling bombs and bullets at each other and strive for peace - A sentiment I agree with. However, there are some things worth fighting for. There are evil people in the world who are sadistic and mean and love to bully people with their weapons and their guns and their religion and their truth. America is the most BA country that ever was and has a responsibility to keep folks like that in check and holding them responsible for the darkness they spill into the world. I know we've spilled our fair share as well. Bad actors all around. One day this song will be realized. Keep singing Paul.
9. Hand In Hand (2:35)
Who is Paul singing to here? Just 2 tracks ago he dumped his girl. Is he singing to himself again? I'm confused.
10. Dominoes (5:02)
Well, it seems Paul and his girl are back together. He's wooed her back into his charms. Singing some sweet things in this song. She must be quite a girl. At least for now.
11. Back In Brazil (3:20)
Probably my favorite track on the record. This is great music. Great sounds. It's about a girl as well. We may have another "Yanny or Pharell" situation on our hands because the backing vocalists are singing lines that could be many different things. This could go viral for just that reason.
1. It's your Bob
2. Get your mom
3. Itchy fob
4. Gucci Bag
5. Eat your paw
6. Preacher Bob
7. Ku da ta
Comment down below.
12. Do It Now (3:17)
Paul McCartney has some pro tips for the self-help industry. This "Do It Now" movement could catch on in a lot of areas. Especially songwriters - people who create content for a living - Excellent advice. A self-motivating song for Paul himself. As old as he's getting, those ideas don't come around as often as they did. Don't take them for granted. When they hit - strike and capture the song while it's fresh.
PS. After listening to verse 2, this song could be about leaving a relationship or using the bathroom.
13. Caesar Rock (3:29)
What the heck is going on? It's like an unfinished scratch pad of loops and ideas and sounds and tempos. Really weird. The song is actually "She's A Rock," but entitled Caesar Rock as to play on the clarity issues the hook has. Mix in a little cocaine, Xanax, and maybe an Ambien = Caesar Rock. The lyrics are so obscure. I think one of the lyrics in the end says "she's got matching teeth."
14. Despite Repeated Warnings (6:57)
Finally a Beatles throwback. It's kind of a mix between "Strawberry Fields" and 'Lucy In The Sky." Good song, tempo change and all. My take on the story: In the song, Paul is the captain and the crew, engineer, and other people are the ones working with him on this record. It's autobiographical - a metaphor of the shenanigans we are witnessing played out in our ears.
15. Station II (0:46)
Paul has an atmospheric premonition of the afterlife which segues into a flashback of the former life which segues into the intro of the next track. Nice.
16. Hunt You Down / Naked / C-Link (6:22)
Kudos on the cowbell! (sidenote: As Paul McCartney gets older he sounds more and more like Ozzy Osborn.) In this song, evidently, Paul's girlfriend has decided to leave him. This is his declaration - Either come back to me or I will hunt you down. The courtship and taken a violent turn. Paul goes directly into Naked where he confessed what we all know to be true at the deepest level - He's naked, and he's been naked since he was born. Literally naked. Perhaps he wrote the song whilst naked. Or, perhaps it's a metaphor of the human condition. Or, he's finally captured his estranged girlfriend and he's holding her captive while he decides what to do with her. I've clearly watched too many crime dramas lately. Segue into C-Link, a cool bluesy riff reminiscent of Clapton on a slow night. I could hear this soundtrack playing on the closing scene, as Paul - after an evening at his piano and enough bourbon to numb anything, he and his empty rock glass stumble up the stairs to call it a night.
The journey ends here. Interesting ride. I must confess I never was a huge Beatles fan. I do appreciate their contribution to the body of music we know today. As for Paul McCartney's effort - It had its moments. I'm not loving it, but it's a good listen on the way to Richmond. The sounds are interesting and cool, no doubt. I'll rake back through sometime and really seek the brilliance one might expect from Paul freakin McCartney - but on first listen - I missed it.