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Chaos and Creation in the Backyard


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Audio CD, September 13, 2005
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It is the eternal question for an artist of Paul McCartney’s stature: what next? What next when you have… well, that list of achievements, with even the long-touted standards album now ticked off with last year’s ‘Kisses On The Bottom’, hardly needs re-iterating. On one level, you might reasonably think that in terms of awards, honours, sales figures, shows and ... Read more in Amazon's Paul McCartney Store

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Chaos and Creation in the Backyard + Memory Almost Full + Driving Rain
Price for all three: $26.87

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 13, 2005)
  • Original Release Date: 2005
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Capitol
  • ASIN: B000AL730O
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (547 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #27,566 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Fine Line
2. How Kind Of You
3. Jenny Wren
4. At The Mercy
5. Friends To Go
6. English Tea
7. Too Much Rain
8. A Certain Softness
9. Riding To Vanity Fair
10. Follow Me
11. Promise To You Girl
12. This Never Happened Before
13. Anyway

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

Sir Paul is an elder statesman now, but Chaos and Creation in the Backyard finds him in considered and tastefully restrained form, penning songs worthy of his finest hour. McCartney crafts this collection of songs with exquisite balance, lining up haunting chimes and heartfelt lyrics ("Riding to Vanity Fair") alongside pounding "Hey Bulldog"-esque chords and eerily Beatles-ish multitracked vocals ("Promise to You Girl," "Fine Line") and, most impressively, distinctively new yet timeless gems of songcraft ("Anyway," "Jenny Wren"). Emotionally, Chaos and Creation manages to avoid being mired in oversentimentality, while retaining a powerful, understated sincerity. Poignant though it is, however, the record is essentially positive and hopeful: Sir Paul's playfulness beams through in his intonation, which picks up a line such as "It's not right/In your life/Too much rain" and breathes life and optimism into its words. "English Tea" completes the package, an unrepentantly twee serving of Anglo-nostalgia with recorder. Chaos and Creation in the Backyard displays the full range of McCartney's inimitable talent, presenting listeners with one of his finest solo albums. --Jonti Davies

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Product Description

On Chaos And Creation In The Back Yard, Sir Paul tries something he did on his first self-titled solo album in 1970, he's playing every instrument himself, including the guitar, bass, drums, flugelhorn and harmonium. And to make sure those Beatles days find their way into his new record, McCartney recorded 'Jenny Wren' which he says is the daughter of Blackbird. Co-produced with Nigel Godrich (Radiohead, Beck), Chaos And Creation is McCartney's first record since 2001's Driving Rain. EMI. 2005.

Customer Reviews

It's that good...every single song!!!!!
Jack R. Adesman
Paul has made a brilliant album, going deeper into his lyrics, sounding mature and still find room for joy in his music.
J. J. De Boer
Overall, a good album that I think McCartney fans will enjoy.
princess Strawberry

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

72 of 75 people found the following review helpful By Marcel van Valen on September 24, 2005
Format: Audio CD
As a boy, I grew up with The Beatles. I felt the little hairs on my arms stand up when their first hit aired on the radio, went to see all their movies (yes, I believed The Beatles lived together in that big house with four doors), got stoned with Sergeant Pepper and even more with the second side of Abbey Road, worried when I saw how they grew apart in Let it Be, was heartbroken when the Fab Four finally split up.

I followed McCartney on his adventures as a solo artist and with Wings. Even though he wrote some of his best work during that period, his albums always lacked something, and often a lot - even Band on the Run had parts that I wanted to skip. Too many albums followed. I kinda lost interest after a while.

And then came Chaos and Creation. After playing it for the second time, I found that I was humming some of the melodies and riffs in my mind. I just had to play the album over and over. Then something weird happened. Tears started running down my face. Huh? This never happened to me anymore... not since A Long and Winding Road, anyway. But it did. And the album just keeps getting better.

History will have to prove if this is Paul's best album, as I suspect it is. It shows all he has to offer: great melodies, a voice that still lends itself to every mood and genre, lyrics that go from poetic to weird and from silly to corny. But hey, that is Paul. Honest and sincere, sometimes with a hint of irony, but never cynical. And the combination of those ingredients creates music that goes straight to the heart.

Much of the quality of Chaos and Creation is due to the excellent production. So, thanks to everyone who helped McCartney create this album. But above all, thanks to Paul for touching me again with his music now, just as he did when I was a boy.
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61 of 65 people found the following review helpful By Wayne Klein HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 14, 2005
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
McCartney's latest has been compared to his "solo" albums "McCartney" and "McCartney II". It's both an accurate and inaccurate representation of the music contained on it. The music is, as usual, tuneful and memorable and the lyrics are very good as well. It's clear that working with the producer of Radiohead had a positive impact. While McCartney plays almost all the instruments, he has a few guest musicians (including the talented Jason Falkner on guitar)make appearences as well. The songs are among the best he's written in a long time. It's clear that from "Flaming Pie" onward he's continued to improve his focus as a songwriter even his singing here feels more heartfelt than before.

So where does "Chaos and Creation in the Backyard" fit in? It's definitely a more consistent album than "Flaming Pie" (which had some filler on it)and although it doesn't rock as hard as "Driving Rain" the songs are full of inventive little touches missing from that terrific album as well. "Fine Line" the single is terrific and the stunning "How Kind of You" isn't one that knocks you off your feet on first listen but it works its way into your brain. Eventually you'll find it's a track you'll come back to quite a lot. "Jenny Wren" is one of the few tracks that doesn't come to life for me but the fine acoustic work reminds me a bit of "Blackbird"."Friends to Go" another great hook followed through by strong lyrics and melody and another winnner from Macca. "English Tea" has a bizarre recorder solo in it that just makes it work for me. "Too Much Rain" and "Riding to Vanity Fair" are both equally good. The latter is a song about betrayal while the former showcases what Paul does best when he's on his game.

The spare production works very very well.
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153 of 177 people found the following review helpful By Tom Emanuel on September 13, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Sir Paul McCartney's previous album, 2001's Driving Rain, was awarded almost unanimous critical approval. Interestingly enough, I loved it at first but slowly grew out of it, instead of the other way around. Pundits across the board are now giving their even more fervent blessings to Paul's newest effort. But will Chaos & Creation in the Backyard (2005) prove a repeat performance?

Well, let's see. At the recommendation of legendary Beatles maestro Sir George Martin, Chaos & Creation in the Backyard is produced by Nigel Godrich of Radiohead fame. Not surprisingly, he was an excellent choice. Godrich had a much greater hand in the creative process than most of Paul's former producers - it was at his behest Macca's touring band was dismissed, forcing the ex-Beatle to provide almost all the instrumentation himself ala his homemade solo debut. But Chaos & Creation is anything but homemade; with tasteful, layered arrangements and a crisp, glossy sound, there's a sense of craftsmanship and professionalism here that was lacking in the 1970 record. And if it wasn't directly his doing - Paul's own age and resultant maturity probably had some effect - Godrich's quality control was more than likely a factor in Chaos & Creation's moody, introspective tone.

Indeed, this record often finds Paul in or striving for a darker humour than his wont. To mixed results: Riding to Vanity Fair sags beneath its self-conscious malaise, but the rainy-day Jenny Wren is evidence Macca can still do damn fine melancholy. Which is not to say C&C is a gloomy album: this is Paul McCartney after all, a lover and an optimist at heart. So the LP has its share of romantic ballads and feel-good "uppers", even if there IS a conspicuous dearth of Sir Paul's trademark stylistic diversions.
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