Paul McCartney's “NEW,” which hits the streets Oct. 15 in the U.S. and Oct. 14 in the UK, finds Paul McCartney doing things a little different. When word came down that he was using four different producers – Paul Epworth, Mark Ronson, Ethan Johns and Giles Martin, son of longtime Beatles producer Sir George Martin, the first thought was “How will the work of all these producers jell neatly into one package?”
The answer is simple. McCartney stays within his strengths on “NEW.” There's no McCartney hip-hop (as if you would expect any) or anything way out on “NEW.” There are ballads, there are rockers, even a bluesy type number that fits very well. There's nowhere the edginess of his The Fireman “Electronic Arguments” album.
When that album was released, we wrote a column asking if it should have been labeled by Paul McCartney. But after hearing “New,” keeping “Electronic Arguments” as a Fireman album probably wasn't a bad idea. McCartney and his four producers work comfortably together and the result is a great album that will, at least in the short run, get a lot of attention.
The big question is whether it'll have legs and, for one thing, get radio exposure beyond the initial period of its release. We'll discuss that more at the end.
We've analyzed each track and graded each of them on separate pages, then graded the whole album at the end.
Go to "View 17 photos" above to start reading our review. A page of facts about the album follows this page before we get into the tracks. (And after the facts page, I don't think we need to say there are spoilers.)
Purchase options: The deluxe version of the album is available from iTunes and Amazon.com, Amazon.ca, Amazon.co.jp, Amazon.co.uk and Walmart. You can order the vinyl on Amazon.com, Amazon.ca, Amazon.co.jp and Amazon.co.uk. The standard CD is available from Amazon.com and Walmart.
"Exclusive" versions are also available at Best Buy (with photo cards and album laminate), Target (with a DVD of Out There tour footage) and FYE (a light cube, but in store only and not by mail). Target online only lists 12 tracks, but the cover is the deluxe version, so likely that's what you'll get. The MP3 of "New" (the single) is available in the U.S., the UK and Japan.
Contrary to some of the confusing information going around, it appears there are only two distinct versions of the album, standard and deluxe. The Japanese version of the album appears to continue an additional track, "Struggle."
- Don't miss our intense coverage of "NEW," which dates back to last year, and has followed the album every step of the way.