Reviews

New Paul McCartney songs reviewed + Egypt Station physical formats clarified

SDE verdict on the two new Macca songs

For a song off an album that has a self-styled ‘travelogue’ vibe, there is irony in the fact that the main failing of the otherwise perky Come On To Me is that it doesn’t go anywhere. Macca seems to have lapsed into laziness and convinced himself that the song doesn’t need a middle eight, when really it does. It commits the cardinal sin of the pop song and becomes a bit boring towards the end.


On the positive, Greg Kurstin’s production works well. It sounds stripped back, but a close listen reveals layers and atmosphere and it doesn’t leave Paul’s voice too exposed. We should really mention the v-word. You could argue that McCartney is effectively working with one arm tied behind his back because he no longer has access to his previous range, which must be hard for a man with his melodic gifts. So the vocal melody in Come On To Me is quite simple and almost nursery rhyme like. The days of the ex-Beatle writing a song that others would find a real challenge to sing are over.

Lyrically Come On To Me is decent enough – it’s basically about ‘pulling’ – and I like the intimacy and wit of the words. Paul’s at his best with small stories – and least charming when he’s trying to make a big statement (Hope For The Future) or a political point (Freedom, Give Ireland Back To The Irish). Also, much as I love The Beatles, I think I’m done with Paul songs that go on about ‘the early days’ and I-remember-when-me-and-John-were-on-the-bus-in-1961 references.

We will wait for confirmation, but it sounds to me like Paul is playing the drums and he could very well have given the band the day off and be playing everything on this track.

The second song on this ‘double A-side single’ (by the way, I am hearing that a seven-inch vinyl will happen at some point), I Don’t Know, on the face of it has a more ‘classic’ McCartney vibe. It’s a ballad and has a beautiful intro which leads into Hey Jude/Let It Be style piano chords and its all sounding very good, but unlike Come On To Me, all this production and lushness rather highlights how the McCartney voice has changed – for the worse – over the years. The man is 76 so no real shame in that, but let’s not pretend it hasn’t happened. As far as I can recall, Macca has made no public reference to his deteriorating voice (even in jokey self-deprecating style) and he apparently insists on singing songs live in the original key, which is crazy, really. You wonder if he is more open with producers in the studio?

This limitation doesn’t remove some delightful melodic twists and turns, such as the chord change at “…I can’t take any more” 55 seconds in. Unlike Come On To Me, I Don’t Know does have a quality break section, the gorgeous “But it’s all right, sleep tight… I will take the strain” bit, about a minute and a half in. In fact, Paul has clearly worked harder on I Don’t Know because there’s another section (“What’s the matter with me… “) at about 2.10, although it’s a little bit more plodding.

The lyric of self-doubt (“…I don’t think I can take anymore / what am I doing wrong, I don’t know”) reminds me a little of the brilliant Mark Ronson produced Alligator from 2013’s New, which featured the refrain “Everybody else is busy doing better than me“.

I Don’t Know is solid enough, but doesn’t really have a proper chorus which is a little disappointing. On the verses, Paul can sometimes sound like he’s standing there in the studio reading the lines from a piece of paper, which serves to make things sound a little constricted

In some ways, it seems a bit churlish to criticise a man who has given so much and written so many wonderful songs, but it’s his choice to keep going, and so we have to process what we think of the new material. I’m not going to write off the new album before it has been released – because I really liked much of New – but neither Come On To Me and I Don’t Know are any kind of a thrill to listen to. If I had to pick one, I’d opt for Come On To Me – it plays to Macca’s strengths in 2018 and has a slightly more ‘fun’ lyric.

Neither song is an embarrassment, in a why-don’t-you-retire way, but similarly neither are rescued from of a pit of averageness by the rope ladder of melodic delight.


Let’s talk about the confusing array of Egypt Station album formats. Here’s a summary of the physical editions:

Standard CD
‘concertina softpak’ with booklet. 16 tracks (including two interludes).

HMV / Target exclusive CD
two bonus songs, so 18-track (with two interludes)

Standard vinyl LP
16 tracks (including two interludes). Seems to be some confusion as to whether this is one vinyl record or two. Either way, it’s a 140g pressing (unlike the deluxe) and comes in a single jacket.

Deluxe vinyl 2LP
16 tracks (including 2 interludes) / 2 x 180g vinyl. No bonus songs on the deluxe vinyl, not even the songs on the HMV/Target CDs.

Deluxe coloured vinyl 2LP
16 tracks (including 2 interludes) / 2 x 180g vinyl. tri-gatefold packaging. Colour hasn’t been confirmed. No bonus songs on the deluxe vinyl, not even the songs on the HMV/Target CDs.

Super Deluxe Edition box set
No details at all on this yet, but it is happening.

Compare prices and pre-order

Paul McCartney

Egypt Station - 2LP deluxe vinyl

Shop Price gbp Stock
Amazon uk 6LP coloured vinyl box 37.99
Amazon de 6LP coloured vinyl box 56.89
Amazon usa 6LP coloured vinyl box 44.23
Amazon fr 6LP coloured vinyl box 59.92
Amazon it 6LP coloured vinyl box 43.99
Amazon es 6LP coloured vinyl box 62.22
Amazon ca 6LP coloured vinyl box 49.99
JPC de 6LP coloured vinyl box 35.99
HMV uk 6LP coloured vinyl box 40.99
Currency:

Compare prices and pre-order

Paul McCartney

Egypt Station - standard vinyl LP

Shop Price gbp Stock
Amazon uk 6LP coloured vinyl box 28.42
Amazon de 6LP coloured vinyl box 34.99
Amazon usa 6LP coloured vinyl box 24.97
Amazon fr 6LP coloured vinyl box 38.35
Amazon it 6LP coloured vinyl box 31.16
Amazon es 6LP coloured vinyl box 32.71
Amazon ca 6LP coloured vinyl box 34.49
JPC de 6LP coloured vinyl box 34.99
HMV uk 6LP coloured vinyl box 30.99
Currency:

Compare prices and pre-order

Paul McCartney

Egypt Station - CD Edition

Shop Price gbp Stock
Amazon uk 6LP coloured vinyl box 7.89
Amazon de 6LP coloured vinyl box 14.17
Amazon usa 6LP coloured vinyl box 9.96
Amazon fr 6LP coloured vinyl box 11.82
Amazon it 6LP coloured vinyl box 9.86
Amazon es 6LP coloured vinyl box 5.71
Amazon ca 6LP coloured vinyl box 12.63
JPC de 6LP coloured vinyl box 18.99
Currency:

116 responses to New Paul McCartney songs reviewed + Egypt Station physical formats clarified

  1. Mike says:

    I received in the mail yesterday two copies of the “Accordian CD” release from Ticketmaster. When we went to see Macca at Madison Square Garden, the ticket offer said it would include a copy of his new CD. Since it has taken a couple years since then for it to come out, I sent Ticketmaster an email asking if we would still be getting the CD. Anyone else receive it from Ticketmaster? If not, you might want to send them an email.

  2. Andreas says:

    Paul in Germany I was able to buy Egypt Station as a „LIMITED EDITION CONCERTINA CD“ . This CD has 18 tracks and a green “belt” around the cover. I am wondering if this is the same as the HMV edition or another release.

  3. Justin McCartney says:

    Yesterday I read about the possibility that the Super Deluxe Edition of Paul McCartney’s new album Egypt Station might have as many as 26 tracks as opposed to the 16 tracks that http://www.paulmccartney.com announced so far, and it might have 2 vinyl records with it along with other various things, and the Super Deluxe Edition might be released in October, and I think all of this information might be from what the article says comes from a usually reliable source. I definitely want the Super Deluxe Edition from Egypt Station along with other editions of Egypt Station too. Thank you for reading this comment. -Justin

  4. BRENEZ Alain says:

    CD Japan now confirms that the Japanese SHM-CD includes 18 tracks, same as the HMV UK edition which is only available to UK residents. First copies come with a free sticker sheet. Ordered it as I don’t live in the UK and there’s no news of the box set.

  5. Pingback:Paul McCartney / Egypt Station deluxe 2LP coloured vinyl edition | superdeluxeedition

  6. macb says:

    I liked “I Don’t Know”. “Come on to Me” sounded very similar to “Spies Like Us”…and that’s NOT a good thing.

    Writer is correct about the vocals. But so what? He’s nearly 80.

  7. Tony Orwell says:

    Update from the mccartney store.
    The standard coloured vinyl has been removed because the standard coloured vinyl version has sold out and the reason the deluxe version is still there is because it has not yet sold out. More interestingly for some if you bought the deluxe version from the macca store for the £49.99 or the £59.99 you can ask for a refund back to £39.99, that is what they have done for me anyway, hope this helps some one, anyone? is there anyone there? probably all on the Bowie Thread. lol

  8. Tony Orwell says:

    OK so this is the time line of the releases on the McCartney Store
    21.6 Deluxe coloured vinyl double LP 49.99 Standard Coloured vinyl £29.99
    23.6 Deluxe coloured vinyl double LP 59.99 Standard Coloured vinyl £39.99
    27.6 Standard Coloured vinyl £39.99
    28.6 Deluxe Coloured vinyl £39.99
    11.7 Deluxe Coloured vinyl £39.99
    So it would seem that they have removed the standard coloured vinyl option altogether and now there is just the deluxe coloured vinyl set which suggests to me as per Paul’s earlier comment were there ever two coloured vinyl versions?

  9. Jack Moon says:

    Having just heard “I Don’t Know” I can’t believe people are debating its merits. It’s the work of a master songwriter. Paul McCartney is a total legend.

  10. Pete M says:

    Folks just wait til this comes out in September. Remember this is Capitol we are talking about, remember what they did to the Beatles albums. We were so confused in the 60s when we found out that the UK had different albums because of their law. Focus on the albums and the songs. I think that it’s going to be a theme album, that would be great. They state up front about a journey between Station One to Station 2 with many destinations in between. So why did they release these particular two song early. Well just maybe I don’t Know is about Jane Asher and Come On to Me is about Linda. Makes sense and look at the order one before the other and their track 2 and 3. Maybe I’m wrong, but something is going on here. Guess we have to wait until September. One last thought, why are not seeing the names of the songs, instead of just listing numbered tracks?

  11. hendry doran says:

    Coloured vinyl double album listed on Udiscover/Thesoundofvinyl but the coloured single album no longer appears. What a mess

    • Jamie says:

      Same price for both the standard and deluxe non-coloured vinyl too on the Universal site. All a bit of a shambles really, no track listings or anything to say what you’re actually buying, and what’s the point of a “deluxe” if there’s nothing extra on it? Not really deluxe then is it, just “the same as the other one”…

  12. Tony says:

    Deluxe coloured vinyl double LP now showing as £39.99 on some websites. Looks like another mess up by marketing department with McCartney coloured vinyl pricing.

  13. Daryl says:

    I’m not a Macca fan by any stretch of the imagination, but all this talk of his voice being shot? I’m clearly missing something as it sounds fine to me!

  14. hendry doran says:

    Paul,

    Has the deluxe 2LP coloured vinyl been pulled. All previous links to ordering the album no longer list it. Maybe second thoughts about the price and content?

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      It was never on the US site, but does indeed seem to have disappeared from all UK sites. Possibly an error I guess. What’s weird is that there is still no mention of the ’email me’ super deluxe edition box set outside the US site.

  15. Gisabun says:

    Wait until there is a Japanese release. I’m guessing additional tracks [or CD] that may contain the Target/HMV bonus tracks [or not] and you never know. maybe even a DVD.

  16. DLG says:

    Yeah, I lament the fact that that beautiful voice will not again write/sing a new song with the power and force of a Maybe I’m Amazed, or Band on the Run, or No More Lonely Nights, or Wanderlust.

    But…the voice deteriorates. Lines grow on skin. Hair greys, then goes away. Getting old is far from a crime – it’s the thing you **have** to do, with as much grace as possible.

    Paul McCartney is doing that, and adding a few grace notes to his lifelong song. His legacy.
    Good on him.

  17. Justin Bryant says:

    With this out in September, 50th Anniversary ‘White Album’ presumably in November, when are we likely to see the remaining Signature Edition releases ie. Wild Life, Red Rose Speedway, London Town and Back To The Egg + any remaining solo albums??
    Would be good if they completed the rollout…

    • George Glazener says:

      @Justin; Lots of folks believe there won’t be any more in the series, but only Macca himself can say for certain. But keep watching this blog, Mr Sinclair will let us know.

  18. AndyB says:

    Target pre-orders back up. Made my purchase, but $5.99 for shipping? C’mon, people…

  19. Ken Evans says:

    Paul S – I googled “concertina softpak” and came up with nothing. What’s that mean?

    • AndyB says:

      Good question. A concertina is kind of like a really small accordian, so I’m making the assumption that the artwork pulls out somehow creating something 3 dimensional. But that is simply a guess.

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      I have no idea, to be honest. Just saw it somewhere…

      • Rogério says:

        If you google “concertina softpak cd” you’ll find some images. From what I can see, it’s the same packing they used for NEW.

  20. Mar Wolfgang says:

    Review: Agree with Paul (Sinclair), OK songs but not really much more than that. As an old time fan, I admire Paul (McCartney) for keeping on performing but I wish someone would push him a bit more in new directions.

    Price: Again, agree, it is sad to see how some artists price their products, especially those that have a long-time hard core followers. U2 (another artist I have admired for ages) is another artist that springs to my mind in this regard.

    Album cover: Has anyone noticed how similar the album cover of Egypt Station is to the cover of George Harrison’s Gone Troppo?

    • glen royer says:

      I agree that Paul is not breaking any new ground but in saying that, at 76, how can one truly? I mean, the man has written perhaps the greatest songs in music and was one of the true innovators who broke ground for everyone else too follow, so he could have retired in 1970 when the Beatles broke up and his legacy would have been kept intact. Now, as a Macca fanatic since 1970 I personally am saddened to see the decline of his voice but hey….. which artist after 50 can do what they did when they were 30? I mean, if he was a boxer, he would be 40 years past his prime yes? Time my friends is Undeafeted….. and we all have too accept that. The beauty is that I am sure Paul knows all of this BUT continues on anyway for his fans and for himself. What else can he do? Retire and play golf all afternoon? I think not. Once an artist, always an artist. Listen, with all his money and all the studio wizardry out there today, he could have made himself sound 25 years old again, but he dident. He would rather sound real….. and THAT is balls in my book. Do I love the new songs? No, I don’t, BUT, that doesn’t mean it is not good. I mean, I am putting them up against Let it Be, Band on the Run, Tug of War ect…. and those are hard shoes too fill yes? In my opinion, everyone gets a small window in life. Like I said, for sports guys its done at about 30-35 and for musicians its probably no different . Music is for kids by kids….end of story. Always has been. Its just that, we are all old now and cant let go but that’s ok….. those are the times. IF this was say the 60’s, we wouldent even be having this conversation right now. Two final thoughts. Could Ali fight say at 40? no. Could Elvis perform at 40? no. Sad fact but true. BUT, in the end, we all still have Paul here and he is giving too us fans way more than we could ever expect, so for that, we should all be greatfull and enjoy him for the short time that we still have him around. One day, we will all miss having him here . Finally, as Lennon once said ” Its just a band…(pertaining to the Breakup of the Beatles). its not the end of the world. You still have the songs too play when ever you feel nostalgic”. And in the end, that is truth. I have and will always love Paul and will see him live whenever I get the chance and buy his new products as they are released because if nothing else, he is family of sorts and one does not turn his back on family no matter what. Sorry if my words seemed a bit harsh at times, i truly meant no disrespect. No one will ever come close to Paul and the incredible body of work he has given us all in the past. End of story. Again, treasure him while we still have him. It is a true blessing. ps. Paul could very well still have some tricks up his sleeve, never doubt that.

      • Fady says:

        “Music is for kids by kids….end of story. Always has been. ”

        I agree with most of your post Glen, but not that bit. Some artists create incredible music well after their supposed prime, e.g. Johnny Cash.

        Music is timeless and has no age limit. That is part of its beauty.

      • Gus Jones says:

        Music is for kids by kids….end of story.
        Only if you’re willing to cut your life to a magazine article. How shortsighted and hindering.

    • Paul Greening says:

      Yes – very close to Gone Troppo – glad to see I am not alone thinking this.
      Also “I Dont Know” apart from sounding a bit like “Now and Then” in the intro at 42 seconds in sounds like the start of “Golden Earth Girl”.
      On first listening I thought the songs were “OK” but as usual with Paul’s songs they grow and grow on you and you find yourself loving them more and more. Cant wait for September

  21. Michael G says:

    For a man of 76 years of age,the songs are of a decent standard.They are still head and shoulders above anything done by the eighties(80s) mommies boy bands,so often championed on here as something special.
    People get old it’s a fact of life!
    As for the various coloured formats I’ve stopped buying anymore, it’s just a complete nonsense cash cow by record companies.
    Just buy the cd it’s all about the music isn’t it?

  22. Fady says:

    For what it’s worth I think both songs are fantastic. I’m definitely on board for the new album if these songs are an indication of the style/sound of the new material.

  23. RickTheHib says:

    If I may…

    Macca makes music because that’s what he does and he loves it.

    Not everyone will love all his new stuff. I’m sure that’s accepted.

    This is, at the very least, another layer in the rich tapestry of his career.

    Sure, many of us love the old stuff, maybe because we’ve heard it for the vast majority of our lives, or maybe because it was just ‘good’. Some don’t.

    I’m willing to bet that when he writes a song that would be better performed by someone else he will give it away – done it before…….

    That’s the way the cookie crumbles.

    I’m getting this album and looking for fresh crumbs.

  24. Mathew Lauren says:

    Could this Macca SDE have a 5.1 or ATMOS mix, that’s been kept under-wraps? Will any of his solo catalogue, ever, receive proper, MODERN, surround-sound treatment?

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      There are surround mixes of Band on the Run and Venus and Mars but McCartney ignored them when he reissued those albums.

  25. Rob says:

    I’ve never been a big fan of his solo work, although I did like most of the first LP, ‘Ram’, and ‘Band on The Run’. While I’ve found much of the rest of his output more than a bit cloying and lame I can still appreciate that, unlike so many songwriters out there he does seem to have the ability to write in different (or at least, different sounding) styles. Some years ago I picked up the ‘Wingspan’ deluxe compilation CD, and was pleasantly surprised at just how well the singles stood up when heard together, and at the variety of sounds on offer. All of that being said, I’ve listened to ‘I Don’t Know’ a few times now, and I like it quite a bit. I’d be happy to hear an LP’s worth of similarly good material. As to the voice, well, it clearly ain’t what it used to be. Then again, others (Dylan, Cash) clearly demonstrated that a limited range is no real liability when applied to the right material.

  26. Nick says:

    In 1981 MCA tried to Release Tom Pettys album Hard Promises for a whole $1 more than any other releases at the time.
    Tom Petty was infuriated and could only think of his fans being ripped off and went head to head with MCA and refused to let MCA release the LP unless the RRP was lowered he forced them to drop the price…….

    Be interesting to see what Mr McCartney does for his outraged fans having to pay £60.00 for a £20.00 / £25.00 album….

    I’m guessing he doesn’t care at all and will do nothing.,… unlike Tom Petty who took on MCA and won!

  27. Stevie B says:

    That’s an incredibly harsh review for what are by anyone’s standards pretty decent songs… in fact both are rather beautiful actually IMHO.

    I agree that his voice has lost it’s strength but it hasn’t lost it’s power to move you. Would it have been better to use a vocoder and some studio jiggery-pockery to make him sound ‘young’ ‘cos that REALLY seems to be your problem. I’m looking forward to new music from a maestro… and no doubt somewhere down the line someone with a voice that fits your specifications of what a pop star should sound like will cover the new songs. Thanks for the info on the HMV exclusive which I’ve pre-ordered.

  28. Torchomatic says:

    I think his voice sounds fine. No one at the age of 76 is going to have the same voice they had in their 20s. At least he is writing and releasing new music and not just living on his (many) past achievements.

    At least he is still singing. Around 10/12 years ago I saw Brian Wilson and he just mumbled his way through his set, he was carried by the wonderful Wondermints. Paul doesn’t need carrying.

    I like the new tracks.

    • Jarmo Keranen says:

      Why does his set list is based completely on his past achievements then? Because his new material is so boring that people in his concerts would fall asleep like i did when i listened these new tracks!

      • Daran says:

        No, not boredom. But because people are going to his concerts to hear the most historic, briliant and the most famous back catalogue of pop songs that will EVER exist from a single artist. Never again will we have such a thing. So why waste a concert playing 5/6/7 new album songs, requiring the sacrifice of some legendary tunes that 95% of the crowd WANT to hear?

        Do you really think that at his age and after all these years touring Macca does not know that? He knows exactly where and why his ongoing tour income is generated.

        But he does mix it up with new songs, whether first time ever played or from the new albums. To stitch the old and new up into a single example: at one of the London’s O2 ‘ Out There’ gigs a few years ago Paul played ‘ Temporary Secretary’ for the first time ever. But he said that ‘we (the band) can tell what you like by the number of smartphone cameras waving in the air recording the songs!’ No prizes for which got more smartphones out in the air between Let It Be et al’ or Temporary Secretary!

        • Paul Sinclair says:

          But I would argue that if Paul had played some of his better latter-day tunes regularly (and not just on the tour when the new album is out) they would have become established as semi-classics in their own right (albeit not rivalling Hey Jude, Let It Be etc.) I’m thinking of songs like My Brave Face, No More Lonely Nights, Say Say Say, Hope Of Deliverance, Young Boy, We Got Married etc. “Only Mama Knows” from Memory Almost Full is a great example. A ballsy Wings-ish rocker that sounded great when he played it but of course he didn’t keep it in the set for subsequent tours. He’s basically feeding the inaccurate assumption that all his new material is a bit rubbish, when it’s not. But Paul’s a born entertainer and so will also err on the side of wanting to entertain (which to him is obviously playing as many BIG hits as possible). No More Lonely Nights was a transatlantic top ten hit single and almost got to number one in the UK, but he has NEVER performed it live… a fact that still staggers me. What’s sad is that he wouldn’t be able to sing it now, so that opportunity has been and gone.

          • Julian H says:

            The same thing people keep saying abouut Status Quo!

          • Nowhereman says:

            That’s a great point Paul. On every one of McCartney’s albums there are songs which could have become classics but he does just drop them after the album is released. As for the new album I’m looking forward to it but the marketing does frustrate a bit. I know he’s always done it , remember Press, but at least there was always a new song on each twelve inch. This is just multiple releases of the same music. I have just about everything on vinyl, I even bought the red and green versions of Wonderful Christmastime with Jimmy Fallon. But this one might just be the straw that breaks this collectors back. Four vinyl versions with exactly the same music at £30/40 a time? Plus cd versions? It would cost about £200 to get them all. Why does McCartney do it. He surely must have clout to say no to the record company.

  29. Mark Browne says:

    As a diehard Beatles fan, I won’t be buying any new P MC albums, I will save my money for the anniversary edition of the white album, which has now been confirmed. Paul’s wings/ solo stuff is hit and miss anyway…Paul has been touring for about 10 yrs, I saw him last year and his voice is shot to hell…time to hang up the guitar I think on a public level,and concentrate on releasing let it be on Blu-ray!

  30. Dave B says:

    My 16 year old son is really into McCartney & The Beatles and had been nagging me to get tickets to his Melbourne show in December last year. As someone who once obsessed over his musical output from the 60’s and 70’s, but who had mostly lost interest thereafter, I kinda shrugged it off, saying “he’s past his prime, his voice will be shot…he’s 75…etc.” However, after the nagging continued unabated, curiosity got the better of me & I jumped onto YouTube to check out any recent performances from the current tour. Ok…looks good, sounds good…what the hell – it’s McCartney FFS!!! Bought tickets…and….so glad I did…easily within the top 2 or 3 concerts I’ve ever seen (out of four decades of seeing pretty much everyone). Three uninterrupted and incredibly energised hours on stage…40 songs, including 26 Beatles songs…sounded amazing…yes, his voice has aged – just like every humans does throughout their entire life – but man, he sounded unbelievably good, and not just “for a 75 year old”.

    Of course his peers Jagger and Daltrey’s voices have also changed, but all three are still cutting the mustard vocally in my book. Now in five years time I doubt the same will be able to be said, so let’s enjoy those voices while we still can, I reckon. They won’t be around forever.

    • mike says:

      I have to say on first listen really disappointing after New. Agree with most here, Come On To Me is a good 90secs but just repeats itself to fade. I Don’t Know just dull . But saddest thing is Macca’s voice, the day it sounds shot in the studio is a sad thing. Will buy it as always, as sure there will be some great stuff on the album but neither track is a great intro.

  31. Tom says:

    A bit of a harsh review really. I don’t think we should be too surprised that someone who has gone to such heights would try ride along on the great body of work he has accomplished. It’s not easy to accept or acknowledge what is obvious to others or to always get good advice. The new songs are what they are and you’re not wrong. I will check back with you (from the other side) at age 76 and see how the writing’s going.
    Best regards.

  32. AndyB says:

    This seems weird: “Target preorders sold out.” Hope they are in stock in September!

  33. Philip Cohen says:

    Of course, heavy (excessive?) touring has taken a toll on McCartney’s voice, but he may also subscribe to the view expressed by his friend Paul Simon: “The old melodic ways are passe’ ; bulls**t really.”

    • Mathew Lauren says:

      Paul Simon said that? Shame. I, wholeheartedly, disagree. Clever artists find new ways to incorporate, that which he finds, now, passé.

  34. Andrew says:

    Just a few comments off the top of my head… Since we all know Paul’s voice has deteriorated, it’s not a surprise to any of us, and is expected, so I’m not one to criticize that fact as far as his songs go, especially since I would rather have a bad-voiced McCartney than no McCartney. As far as “Come On To Me” is concerned, I disagree with your review of the song in that I think the ending of the song is the best part, but I do agree it is too monotonous , which probably could have been alleviated by a simple edit somewhere. As an FYI, it took about three or four listens till I started to like it. As far as “I Don’t Know” is concerned, I love the opening — reminds me of the Lennon demo of “Now and Then” — brings chills, man!!! I love the music on this track, and I tell ya, I wouldn’t mind an instrumental version of this song. So, are these great songs? No. So what??? They are decent songs, but unfortunately for Paul, if a song isn’t great, people trash him that the song sucks, or he sucks. Jeez!!! Also, “I Don’t Know” reminds me of another song he did in the past, but I just can’t my finger on it. In closing I will simply say how happy I am that he is releasing new music and I look forward to Sept 7th!!!

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      I know you probably weren’t referring to my words, but I certainly wasn’t ‘trashing’ McCartney.

      • Nigel says:

        Of course not, Paul. Everyone here recognizes that you’re a huge fan. You’re part of the family… Opinions are opinions. Like yourself, I have a soft spot for little gems like ‘Single Pidgeon’. Cannot wait for the RRS SDE!

  35. Larry Davis says:

    Depends on what’s on the box…I did preorder it…but it looks like I may cancel it and just get the Target CD…the box likely will be overpriced and not have the Target bonus tracks…I could be wrong but I don’t think so…the new songs are fine enough for me to keep on Paul’s solo and Beatles catalogue…

  36. Paul Wren says:

    Maybe P McC. needs to spend some time in due course with Rick Rubin who produced some blindingly good stripped back end of career albums with Johnny Cash whereby the standout factor was the ageing deterioration in Cash’s voice which Rubin made the most of.

  37. Vincent Marino says:

    Paul, like most veteran artists, usually releases the weaker songs as first singles before the album comes out. The double-A side thing is a joke. I expect the rest of the album will be better. I stopped seeing him live because his voice is shot. It’s sad, but a reality. Lower the keys a half step. No one will care.

    • Mathew Lauren says:

      You’re talking about key transposition and Macca’s, current tessitura. Most older vocalists work this out with the band in advance (on a song by song basis, while attempting to maintain the song’s, original integrity), because the reality is: vocal range, and singing in general is a perishable skill-set, and some songs don’t sound proper, transposed.

      Regardless, I agree that most of us wouldn’t care, and attend concerts to be part of an event, not to critique whether a LIVE show, sounded EXACTLY like the album, note for note.

      • Philip Cohen says:

        Sometimes, an older vocalist de-tuning a song doesn’t damage a song, but sometimes, the result is appalling. For example “Mama” by Genesis and “Whole Lotta Love” by Led Zeppelin.

  38. Kenneth Tilley says:

    vinyl too pricey for me, i’ll give this release a miss. It seems like a going through the motions release again.

    • Bill says:

      Same here now can the difference in the price of the Coloured vinyl to the standard black be justified in both the standard and deluxe versions. I’ll stick to the CD exclusive from HMV a shame as I have all his stuff in vinyl. Bad decision Macca!

  39. Geo says:

    The Carpool segment was great. Yes, some of the stories have been told thousands of times. And yet it was neat to see McCartney tour his old home and the concert at the pub was fabulous. The tears that were shed by both young and old testifies to the importance and impact of his music.

    Yes, McCartney’s voice is a shell of what it used to be. The ballads on “New” were hard for me to listen to; interestingly, he sounds much better on uptempo rockers. The last time I saw him in concert, songs like “I’ve Got a Feeling” sounded fantastic.

    I like the two new songs, especially “Come On To Me.” I don’t think it needs a middle eight at all. It rocks harder than anything on “New.” “I Don’t Know” does grab your attention with its creative introduction. I’d like to know the inspiration behind it.

    The two singles have really peaked my interest. Initially, I enjoyed listening to “New” but is seemed to get old very quickly. If the two singles are any indication of what the rest of “Egypt Station” is like, I think McCartney has got a winner on his hands. Time will tell.

    I do agree with those who have lamented McCartney’s marketing antics. As a huge fan, I’ve collected a lot of his stuff (and the Beatles too), but I stopped with “Pure McCartney.” There was really no motivation to make the purchase – no new songs, no new remixed visions (that I’m aware of), no unreleased stuff. So, for me, no purchase.

  40. Nigel says:

    Everyone should stop and think about what Paul McCartney has given the world… Such joy. Wonderful memories. Love and warmth. Lessons to make us all better human beings. He deserves to be cherished as a beautiful person. He doesn’t ask anything from you, he just gives. I’m sure we can all show a little bit of respect and love for a man who has changed the world for good. That will last forever. Thank you, Paul McCartney.

    • Pds says:

      Well said. let’s appreciate genuine talent while he is still able to make music.

    • BritinDetroit says:

      Point very well taken

      As an oldster born in to Austerity Britain, it’s hard to describe the impact that the Fabs had. One minute you are watching Muriel Young and Ollie Beak and then there they are. Come on Uncle Mac please play the Beatles, RSG, Thank Your Lucky Stars…we watched and hoped.

      He strolled on to the stage at the Palace of Auburn Hills and ripped in to “Hello Goodbye”…and I lost it

      Macca will always get a pass.

    • Kenny says:

      Lets also stop and think about what the world has given Paul McCartney………untold wealth! Do you honestly think “he just gives” ? Some of his marketing strategies have been very dodgy and materialistic indeed. Of course he has written some of the greatest music ever but fifty years from now I doubt if any of his music from the last twenty five years will be remembered. Along with a lot of huge stars he’s living off his reputation and not his current output.

  41. DaveM says:

    After forty years of buying Paul’s albums, starting with London Town and then collecting everything related over the years, I still get excited at the prospect of a new album, even though some of his output has been patchy. What I would say is though, his last few original albums, including the derided Driving Rain, I have found to be mostly consistently good.
    I like I Don’t know more so than Come on to Me, but am keeping an open mind on both, till I hear them in context with the full album. As for the quality of his voice, thats something I can live with and on more recent stuff, especially Early Days, the fragility of it works for me.

    • Larry Davis says:

      I dunno if I am the only one, but I actually LIKE ‘Driving Rain’!! After 2 Beatle friends were trashing it…and I hadn’t heard it in full at the time…I took it out of the library and uploaded it to my iTunes… I found nothing wrong with it and I actually really enjoy it!! I don’t think there is anything McCartney has done that is so awfully bad to be embarrassed with… Some are better than others yes, but nothing godawful…even ‘Kisses On The Bottom’ was an OK stylistic detour…

      • Paul Sinclair says:

        I don’t really like David Kahne’s production. “Your Way” is very Wingsy, and could have been superb.

  42. Jeremy says:

    Generally I agree though in my view ‘Come On To Me’ is rather worse than you suggest and ‘I Don’t Know’ is rather better, especially the second half of the song after the backing vocals kick in and cushion the McCartney vocal. Hopefully this approach will be repeated on some of the other songs. It will be hard for this album to match the excellence of ‘New’ – and glad to hear your comment about ‘Alligator’ which has always been my favourite track on ‘New’.
    Like others, I am appalled by the price range of all the vinyl formats. McCartney should be giving these albums away. Like he needs the money.

  43. John says:

    Seems like everyone’s a critic these days.

    Unfortunately.

    • Charles K says:

      What are you going on about? You clicked on an article that specifically states itself to be a review. Reviews contain critical analysis, sometimes opposite to what you think. Just state your reasons why you disagree instead of making some non-sensical dig in the water-is-wet vein my friend.

    • Mikey Mike says:

      I have to say … it takes ballz to tell a Beatle his song structure is wrong for a song. Geez

      • Paul Sinclair says:

        There is no ‘structure’, that’s the problem. It’s the same thing over and over for more than four minutes. You don’t have to be able to write a brilliant song to be able to appreciate one (or not).

        • Larry Davis says:

          Highly disagree, Paul. Both songs have structure, and I actually prefer ‘I Don’t Know” more because it has stronger, prettier, melodic moments and feels nicely orchestrated… Has the feel of early solo McCartney. The other one, “Come On To Me” is catchy enough and reminds me of the opening track to the “New” album…and no, I have no problem with his voice in its current state… Look at Dylan and Leonard Cohen and Tom Waits in their later periods…comes with age…

    • Mathew Lauren says:

      People are passionate about their (musician based) music; and it’s always been my understanding, that forums, like this, provide our community a place to share, as well as vent, about music issues.

  44. Webvan says:

    Pretty fair review (COTM is catchier than anything he’s done for a very long time, lyric wise too and there is an instrumental bridge /middle 8) but I think you should include the Carpool Karaoke in this post because it is nothing short of amazing, very emotional and with some interesting tidbits that die-hard fans didn’t really know about. An absolutely beautiful moment that puts Macca in a different (no “thumbs up” here) and fascinating light.

    Interestingly his voice during the live section sounds a lot stronger than on the latest studio tracks.

  45. Albert says:

    The revisionism does get a bit tiresome, I agree. All this ‘Me and John were best buddies’ stuff, when (after 1970) they hardly saw each other and spat venom at one another through songs and the music press. It’s a bit like ‘Blackbird’. Macca now claims it was this big civil rights statement and all that. But when it was released it was about a blackbird of the feathered worm eating variety (which can be heard chirruping on the song itself). ‘Blackbird’ is a wonderful song as it is. It doesn’t have to have right on revisionism attached to it to gain kudos. But Macca has (since John’s death) craved credibility and all the ‘I was the avant garde one, while John stagnated in Kenwood’ stuff does grate, and I hope this new album isn’t full of all that….

  46. Nigel says:

    I think his voice is just fine. I think he should continue doing what he wants to do – he clearly loves it. I agree that the introduction to ‘I Don’t Know’ is flooringly beautiful. The songs are both strong and I cannot wait to hear the concept of the station stops played out in full. I will be buying this on the day of release. Paul McCartney has lost nothing. He keeps giving and developing. He’s a MASTER SONGWRITER. Who on this forum can say the same of themselves? Cue the tumbleweed. “it’s alright, sleep tight…”

    • Adam Shaw says:

      Well you’ve said it twice now .
      If you think his voice is in good shape then you probably didn’t hear him live 10 years ago when it just started going wonky !
      If Macca had dropped a key like most older singers do and didn’t try and sing songs he’d written 50 years in same key then he would have saved his voice and been able to talk properly as well instead of sounding like he’s sucking on a sweet all the time !

  47. fan says:

    16x3minutes=48=24min/side

    I’ll go for the single LP

    • Nigel says:

      These ain’t gonna be 3 minute songs, mate. Check the double A side out… This is Long Long Player

  48. Stupidactingsmart says:

    I’d call the section beginning at 1:53 a middle 8 (in Come On To Me). Unless you were perhaps just alluding to not thinking it’s an especially good one. I do think the song hangs around a bit longer than it needs to – after the first fade really. But, I like it. His voice may not be up to the rigours of his old stuff but for this kind of short, sharp, monosyllabic rock lyric, I think it’s fine. He’s hitting the notes he needs to hit.

  49. probablyrustin says:

    If only other artists past their prime (as described) were lucky enough to get this much coverage this far before an album release… I get the love for Paul McCartney, but is that really all that’s going on in the world of deluxe releases? A walk into a well-stocked specialist store begs to differ!

  50. Ken.e says:

    At 76 I am happy to see him putting out new music. The songs are okay but better to me then most of what I see and hear in the charts but not up to classic McCartney (like most things in the charts). There are 14 (+2) more tracks to hear before the final verdict but so far I am okay with it.
    The formats are confusing. Thanks for cleaning it up a bit but I would like to know what the super deluxe set is all about before I decide.

  51. Phil says:

    Fair review. Watching him with James Corden it’s apparent that his voice isn’t what it was. He seeems to sound better on the rockier tracks – too exposed these days on ballads – but to paraphrase the man ‘shut up it’s Paul McCartney!! I’ll still go and see him if he tours – there’s few enough legends left and if he wants to keep playing good on him. I’ve ordered the super deluxe (I’d only regret it later if I didn’t!) but await a proper description.

  52. Marc K. says:

    I can’t stand to hear his deteriorating voice, it’s horrible. Someone should tell him to stop singing. It really is sort of heartbreaking! Don’t like the new songs and really cannot believe the price they (Sound of Vinyl) ask for the coloured deluxe 2LP ……70 euro!!!!!!! It’s all a big shame. A hero falling down……I know nothing is forever, but this hurts.

  53. Daniel Wylie says:

    ‘I Don’t Know,’ has a beautiful melody. The other tune, I’m not fussed about. His voice is old and like Dylan’s voice, it’s pretty much shot. In the age of plastic surgery/corrective surgery, when will someone find a way to repair old singers voices…tightening / cleaning vocal cords and giving them a new lease of life. This is when you start to hear the damage a lifetime of smoking has on the voice. Any young singers out there…throw the ciggies away. The Macca appearance on James Corden’s Carpool…all 23 minutes of it, is some of the best TV I’ve seen in years. Very emotional. Try to see it…even if you think you hate Corden.

    • Craig Hedges says:

      I watched it, I don’t like Corden and I hate him even more now, so sycophantic, especially when Paul told the Let it be story for the 500th time and Corden goes “That the most beautiful story I’ve heard”
      The first scenes with the jukebox in the Phil were staged – One of the ‘customers’ was his bodyguard. Was in there Wednesday and spoke to the staff. The audience who run through the doors later were given tickets for the gig

    • Nigel says:

      Dylan’s voice is a fine wine.

      • Guy says:

        To me, Dylan’s voice is more of a nasal whine rather than a fine wine…

        The last time I saw McCartney live his voice was shot to bits. The rest of the show was good though!

    • Nigel says:

      I disagree. I think his voice is still strong and, as all true artists should, he should keep doing exactly what he wants. As soon as the ‘fans’ wade in, that’s when the problems start. ‘Fans’ aren’t artists and yet they think they have a word in it. Let the artists be… TM

      • Larry Davis says:

        I agree 100%…fanbases, while crucial to an artist in ticket and record sales…should have NOTHING to do with any artist’s evolution!! The artist must evolve on his/her/their own only. Yes they give feedback, but any artist worth his/her/their salt should never listen to it or let it affect the artistic direction… Art first, commerce second… If any artist was dependent on this feedback to evolve, we would have no art, period.

        • Nigel says:

          Exactly, Larry. Neil Young is another prime example of this process working for an artist… He plays what he wants. He’s often played exclusively new material… Take his solo Greendale shows for example. He lets the muse guide him and it just works… Take the audience with you. Don’t FOLLOW the audience… You’re absolutely right! Art exists because artists LEAD.

  54. Rick Shaw says:

    “rescued from of a pit of averageness by the rope ladder of melodic delight”…a mavellous choice of words, Paul. You should do this for a living!

  55. CJ Feeney says:

    I watched a TV interview with Joan Baez recently (on Vintage TV) and a lot of the conversation was about recording new material and performing old material with her voice lowered by age. The songs they played from her recent album were fantastic, and the interview revealed she had to put quite a bit of effort into getting her performing voice right in order to carry on recording and performing live.

    It’s odd that McCartney is not dealing with this issue in a similar professional manner. In the little media I heard this week, he seems to laugh off the challenges of performing/touring. Is he so hostile to good advice, or just in denial?

  56. Chris says:

    Macca’s guitarist Brian Ray has said on twitter that he plays bass and electric sitar on Come On To You

  57. Rich459 says:

    Big fan but just emailed to cancel my Deluxe LP. I’ll see what the box set offers and make a more informed decision later on.

    With regards to the music I don’t mind it at all – Though I think his strength would be sticking to some more melodic mid tempo numbers. I Don’t Know is a chorus away from been a good solid single. I like Come On To Me but doesn’t sit right for his age and voice.

    There are ways to take advantage of an ageing voice – For example Johnny Cash’s American Recordings.

  58. Adam Shaw says:

    I don’t think Macca style has changed since Driving Rain .
    I’m also sick of his revisionist approach to his life in song .
    Let South America enjoy his live shows , they seem to hang on his every word even if his voice is shot .

  59. Chris Squires says:

    It’s certainly something that happens when artists age that the songs get “simpler”, it happens with nearly everything from Jonathan Creek dramas to albums by ageing rockstars. The early ones are packed with incident and one can probably name 4, 5 or 6 changes or sidelines and the later ones seem to have one good idea that is played out far too long.

    Macca seems no different. I can’t comment with enough certainty on many of his songs…

    “I don’t know half of his work half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of his work half as well as it deserves”.

    But in my terms it’s the equivalent of “Kashka from Baghdad” from Lionheart (1978 and probably written in 1976), 4 minutes packed with stories, imagination and incident with many changes of pace versus “Lake Tahoe” from 50 words…. (still a very good song and one of my later favourites) but it takes 11 minutes to not go very far away from the single theme at a single pace.

    Doesn’t mean it won’t be OK, but throw in a seemingly perverse refusal to acknowledge current vocal limitations and it could be hard work.

    We shall see, as you say Paul, most would have given up with new, challenging material long before the age of 76. It’s either quite brave or foolhardy.

  60. Jakob says:

    I agree with you, Paul on the new songs, but I think the song is called Come On To Me and not Come To Me

  61. Frank says:

    Totally agree with the review. I miss the melodic sparkle on late-period records like Driving Rian and Chaos…, but personally I can’t really have any criticism on the man, because he’s….well…Paul McCartney!

  62. Catweazle says:

    So by now Sir Paul obviously considers his fans to be nothing more than cash cows – demanding £ 60 (or € 70) for a double LP that offers nothing extra apart from the vinyl colour is crazy.
    For me this is where the fun ends. Over the past decades I have bought nearly everything with the name McCartney on it, often at inflated prices. I won’t this time. Standard CD yes, but apart from that I’m out of the game. (That said, I’ll certainly buy the White Album superdeluxe box and am very much looking forward to it!)
    As for the new songs – I agree with everything you said in your great review Paul!

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