Paul McCartney’s ‘New’ album

Natalie Montaner  / Columnist

After 56 years in the music industry and a total of 24 studio albums to his name (post-Beatles), Paul McCartney successfully remains relevant within the world of music. McCartney retains the ability to produce albums that are able to stand tall and strong, unlike many of his ex-colleagues who have long since bid farewell to their glory days.

His latest studio album, “New,” was released Oct. 11, and is the first album since “Memory Almost Full” (2007) to contain all completely original compositions. On this album, McCartney enlisted the help of four renowned producers: Paul Epworth, Mark Ronson, Giles Martin and Ethan Johns. Having such a contrasting lineup enabled him to embed four separate styles that still manage to work together in harmony.

The opener, “Save Us,” wastes no time jumping right up and in your face with a steady, attention-stealing guitar riff. “Alligator,” in particular, gives a strong nod to the Beatles — specifically during their later, more mature years. Acoustic guitars and simple drumming patterns are periodically joined by a psychedelic-esque guitar that is very reminiscent of 1969’s “I Want You (She’s So Heavy).”

Much like a Beatles production, where infectious sounds resonate with the listener, McCartney is able to successfully catch your attention with just about every song on the album. He’s just an endless stream of ideas, catchy riffs and captivating melodies.

Reaching its peak with “New” and “Appreciate,” this album reminds the believers and skeptics alike why McCartney is still a significant figure in the musical sphere. The upbeat and pop-influenced “New” is a stark contrast from the darker, more trip hop/electronic “Appreciate,” but despite those differences they are easily the strongest songs on the album. Both show complexity and both are extremely diverse.

Despite being 71 years old, he’s effortlessly evolved with the times, calling upon and playing with genres he hasn’t yet experimented with before. We are shown some pop rock, some new wave, some downtempo electronic and some inspiration from the very band that thrusted McCartney into the spotlight all those years ago. Although this album brings in different musical styles and influences, it’s still able to successfully function and flow together.

In short, there’s really no one who makes music quite the way McCartney does. He does it all and does it well.

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