Following a busy summer full of cryptic Instagram posts, a carpool karaoke appearance with James Corden and an intimate surprise concert at Grand Central Station, Paul McCartney released his newest album, “Egypt Station,” this past Friday.
McCartney describes “Egypt Station” as a concept album, as was The Beatles’ revolutionary “Sgt. Pepper’s” which came out of McCartney’s idea for the band to assume an alter-ego. Each song on the new album represents a different station on this musical journey. McCartney also said the title “Egypt Station” reminded him of the albums he and The Beatles used to make. The resulting album stays true to its nostalgic inspirations. McCartney experiments with new sounds in some places but overall this is a McCartney listeners are familiar with.
“Egypt Station” begins with sounds of a train station over a choir which transitions smoothly into the melancholy piano ballad “I Don’t Know”. When asked what his favorite song on the album was, McCartney cheekily replied, “I don’t know!” His taste is spot on- “I Don’t Know” is perhaps the best song on the album. “Come on to Me” snaps the somber tone with its rocking guitar and suggestive lyrics about McCartney deciding how to respond to a woman’s seductive look.
McCartney and Greg Kursten, a producer well known for his work on Adele’s 2015 single “Hello,” vary the pace masterfully throughout the album. “Happy With You,” a slower acoustic number, is followed by the biting guitar riffs of “Who Cares”. “Fuh You” is the lone track not produced by Kursten. Instead McCartney works with Ryan Tedder, who gives the track a more contemporary pop sound.
“Hand in Hand” and “Back in Brazil” stand out on the B side and carry the album along towards the end of the journey. At nearly seven minutes, “Despite Repeated Warnings” contains several sections connected through classic McCartney transitions. Some of McCartney’s top tracks such as “Band on the Run” and “Live and Let Die” were made using the same approach. McCartney confirmed on the “Sodajerker” podcast that the stubborn captain in “Despite Repeated Warnings” is a jab at President Trump.
To reinforce the whole concept of the album the station noises and choir appear again. The final stop on the metaphorical journey, a medley of several songs, wraps up the album.
“Egypt Station” is an album full of unique and fresh songs, easily McCartney’s best effort since 2005’s “Chaos and Creation in the Backyard.” While McCartney might not know where he keeps going wrong in “I Don’t Know,’” one thing is for sure: as long as he keeps putting out music, millions of fans will keep gobbling it up while they still can.