Anyone who has read this blog knows I love the Beatles and Paul McCartney.
His latest “album” is called “NEW” and on the cover is art inspired by American minimalist artist Dan Flavin. Many people think John Lennon was the avant-garde member of the Beatles, but the better informed fans like you and I know full well that Paul was the one first interested in, and influenced by, the avant-garde/modernist art movement.
I’m not a huge fan of this type of art, but it does work in this application because of the visual graphic connection of the word NEW being read as type in the bulbs. Kind of like a very loose oil painting of a familiar scene - your minds eye fills in what is not actually there. Anytime images are used as type in this way (if done tastefully) it’s cool.
Of the entire Beatles and McCartney oeuvre probably the best example of an original piece of traditional art being used for an album cover was the montage done by German artist and Beatle mate Klaus Voorman for the Beatle’s Revolver album.
As far as Paul’s “NEW” songs, I listened to the whole CD “on my way to work” the other day and I like it. In my opinion it is just as good as Chaos and Creation in the Backyard, and way better than most of Memory Almost Full.
The lyrics are of course awesome in most cases. There are a lot of upbeat, catchy, vintage Paul tunes, however the basic backbeat to all of those songs make them sound kind of the same to me (even though those are the ones I’ll end up playing over and over). Isn’t it funny how even his not so great tunes just say in your head? That’s Paul folks!!
So I agree with most of the critics in giving it 4 out of 5 stars, but I also (kind of) agree with the review from the Guardian which states something common to all Paul McCartney critics since the breakup of the Beatles:
“The one thing he really needs is the one thing that he can't have, because it doesn't exist: an equal.”