Paul McCartney releases his first new album in five years, already making it to the Top 200 Billboard Charts.
Listening to the first track of Paul McCartney’s newest album, Egypt Station, my mind was brought to Las Vegas, watching Cirque Du Soleil’s LOVE – a show entirely based around the music and story of the Beatles in America. I was eleven years old then, craning my neck to see every second and every movement on the stage that I possibly could.
Fast forward about four years, I found myself hearing the sounds of the bustling train station and the voices of the choir that fill the empty spaces on the opening track, “Opening Station,” that made me feel like I was back in the theater, hearing the Beatles’ “Gnik Nus” for the first time. I had been a hardcore Beatles fan back then; now, even moreso.
Egypt Station, released on September 7, 2018, is an accumulation of 16 songs, featuring “Come On To Me” and “Happy With You.” Not only is this McCartney’s first album in five years, but also his 18th solo album with Capitol Records.
Along with the album itself, McCartney produced a short YouTube series called Words Between the Tracks, in which he gave fans an insight into what each song was written about. “Egypt Station starts off at the station on the first song,” McCartney says, explaining the sequence and concept of the album, “then each song is a different station.”
After leaving the station, listeners are shown a wide variety of different songs – some acoustic, some rock, and some with an ever-present pop influence.
“People Want Peace” takes a look back into McCartney’s time with the Beatles, exploring the theme of world peace, freedom, and the power of the people. Former Beatles, George Harrison and John Lennon, were both outspoken in similar world issues (Harrison with “Give Me Love: Peace on Earth” and Lennon with songs like “Give Peace a Chance” and “Power to the People”), as well as Ringo Starr with his latest album Give More Love (2017) and his personal mantra “Peace and Love.”
From station to station, McCartney brings the audience to different times in our lives as well as different places in the world with songs like “Caesar Rock” (a seemingly Spanish inspired song) and “Back in Brazil” (a jazzy, Steely Dan like song).
McCartney even implemented a pause in “Back in Brazil” for voices to shout “Ichiban!” meaning “number 1” in Japanese. Listeners took this quite literally – Egypt Station is McCartney’s first album to make the Billboard Top 200 in 36 years.
McCartney closes the album with “Station II,” a return to the first track, that leads into the introductory guitar riff of the final song – a 6 minute, 23 second three parter – “Hunt You Down/Naked/C-Link.” This last track is absolutely Beatles era McCartney.
In “Hunt You Down,” the steady cowbell backbeat and trumpets make for a perfect Beatles song, even bringing to mind McCartney’s solo song “Junior’s Farm.” This first third of the song comes to a close and leads into the second piano based part called “Naked,” and then on into “C-Link” – a guitar solo reminiscent of Pink Floyd’s guitar intros and slow beats, like “Shine On You Crazy Diamond.”
Although 76 years old, McCartney has continued on as a relevant and legendary musician of the past, present, and future. With a lifetime of experience, he connects with people young and old, teaching us all a valuable lesson: to live life confidently, together, hand in hand.