Paul McCartney — Egypt Station
(Capitol Records) ★★★★✩
HE’S 76 and hasn’t had anything to prove for at least 50 years. But Paul McCartney never stops wanting to write a killer pop song, and there are at least three here. Fuh You is a co-write with Ryan Tedder that you can imagine being a monster hit in the hands of Bruno Mars or Ariana Grande. Come On To Me is another febrile, sexually charged banger, while Back In Brazil is a compelling piece of electronic samba.
Elsewhere, McCartney and his co-producer Greg Kurstin seem happy to revel in the back catalogue. Dominoes has a woozy, psych-folk feel that recalls tracks from 1971’s Ram; the lovely, pastoral Happy With You might fit on the White Album; Hunt You Down/Naked/C-Link, is an episodic song suite, with funky blasts from the Muscle Shoals horns and nods to Band On The Run-era Wings.
It’s not clear who the subject of Confidante is, but we can project on to its lyrics (‘in your reflected glory I could dream of shining far-off lands’) the image of a curdled bromance with John Lennon.
The episodic prog rock of Despite Repeated Warnings could serve as a metaphor for Brexit, or Donald Trump, or Jeremy Corbyn, or whatever political situation you want. Part of Macca’s pop genius is that you can project anything on to his songs — and they always work.