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The Complete EP Collection

Audio CD

4.3 out of 5 stars 31 customer reviews

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Audio CD, November 22, 2011
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

The release and international success of James McCartney's debut digital-only EPs, Available Light and Close At Hand, introduced a talented singer-songwriter and his music to the world. Now, James McCartney embarks on the next phase of that introduction with his first-ever physical release: The Complete EP Collection. This special two-disc set, produced by David Kahne and Paul McCartney, includes James's debut EPs in their entirety, along with an additional EP's worth of five never before released bonus tracks.

The Complete EP Collection is the result of James McCartney working on and off in the studio for over two years. He played most of the instruments, including bass, guitars, and piano - and of course, he sings. ''I really wanted to wait until I had the strongest possible collection of songs before introducing them to the world,'' says McCartney. ''I so believe in this music, and these songs. With the two digital EPs being released earlier this year and now this special two-disc set arriving, I'm right where I've hoped I would be.''

The songs on Available Light, Close At Hand, and the five exclusive bonus tracks on The Complete EP Collection were recorded at Hog Hill Mill Studios in Sussex, Abbey Road Studios in London, and SeeSquared Studios and Avatar Studios in New York.

Rolling Stone calls the opening track on Available Light, Angel, a ''light and cheerful pop track.'' The upbeat nature of Angel and the innocence of the song My Friend are deftly balanced on Available Light by the dark and dynamic tracks Glisten and Denial, and finally framed with a heartfelt rendition of Neil Young's classic, Old Man.

If Available Light is the 'side one' of James McCartney's debut, then Close At Hand is very much the second side, and James had specific ideas for it. ''There is only one thing to do with high expectations, and that is meet them,'' says McCartney. ''I wanted to follow Available Light with something that showed a progression...that had an even deeper meaning, both spiritually and musically.'' From the first moments of Close At Hand, that progression is crystal clear. Above driving guitar lines McCartney asks, ''Are you receiving what you're believing / Are you sure just what you are,'' in the EP's opening track, I Only Want To Be Alone. The powerful vulnerability of Wings Of A Lightest Weight is the expression of a son's feelings of love for his mother (''Watching you fly away / Whilst your wings of a lightest weight / Carry you back through the heat of the wind / Carry you back to me''). 12-string-guitar arpeggios reminiscent of Glisten from Available Light return for the uplifting song The Sound Of My Voice. The playfully esoteric Else And Else But Dead is followed by an emotional tour de force, Jesus Be My Friend, where McCartney plumbs the depths of his own convictions (''Boulder in a stream / Water on a stone / God is close at hand / You never understood / Just who I really was / Just who I really am''). Fallen Angel provides a hopeful dawn after this dark night of the soul.

''Some artists are happy doing the same thing again and again, but my favorite artists are the ones who evolve and grow, and I want to be one of them,'' says James. With Available Light, Close At Hand, and now The Complete EP Collection, James McCartney has again and again dared to raise the stakes, and in doing so he's succeeded in filling some very big shoes...his own.

Review

Strong pop hooks. --Rolling Stone

James has inherited his father's musical gifts and more... It's not easy doing this sort of thing; in fact, it's down right brave. --Parade

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Angel
  2. Glisten
  3. My Friend
  4. Denial
  5. Old Man
  6. New York Times (Bonus Track)
  7. I Love You Dad (Bonus Track)
  8. Moonstar (Bonus Track)

Disc: 2

  1. I Only Want To Be Alone
  2. Wings Of A Lightest Weight
  3. The Sound Of My Voice
  4. Else And Else But Dead
  5. Jesus Be My Friend
  6. Fallen Angel
  7. Spirit Guides (Bonus Track)
  8. Your True Love (Bonus Track)


Product details

  • Audio CD (November 22, 2011)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Engine Company Records
  • ASIN: B005ZVIMSG
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #161,627 in CDs & Vinyl (See Top 100 in CDs & Vinyl)
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