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Egypt Station [2 LP][Deluxe Edition]
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180g Double Vinyl, unique tri-gatefold packaging with 16 tracks (14 songs + 2 instrumentals).
Paul McCartney invites you on a musical journey to Egypt Station, estimated time of arrival September 7, 2018 by way of Capitol Records. Sharing a title with one of Paul’s own paintings, Egypt Station is the first full album of all-new McCartney music since 2013’s international chart-topping NEW. Preceded by two of its tracks just released as double A-sides--plaintive ballad “I Don’t Know” and raucous stomper “Come On To Me”—Egypt Station was recorded between Los Angeles, London and Sussex, and produced (with the exception of one Ryan Tedder track) by Greg Kurstin (Adele, Beck, Foo Fighters).
Of the forthcoming album’s enigmatic title, Paul says, “I liked the words ‘Egypt Station.’ It reminded me of the ‘album’ albums we used to make.., Egypt Station starts off at the station on the first song and then each song is like a different station. So it gave us some idea to base all the songs around that. I think of it as a dream location that the music emanates from.”
True to the inspiration behind its title, Egypt Station’s 14 songs combine to convey a unique travelogue vibe. Between the opening and closing instrumentals “Station I” and “Station II,” each song finds Paul capturing a place or moment before transporting the listener seamlessly to the next destination. Stops along the way include an acoustic meditation on present day contentedness (“Happy With You”), a timeless anthem that would fit on virtually any album of any McCartney era (“People Want Peace”), and an epic multi-movement closer clocking in at seven minutes with a song suite structure harkening back to the days of Paul’s previous combos (“Despite Repeated Warnings”). The result is a kaleidoscopic journey through myriad musical locales and eras, yet firmly rooted in the here and now--with Paul’s singular unmistakable melodic and lyrical sensibility serving as a guide.
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Paul McCartney operates on a different level than any other artist out there. His life and experiences are incomprehensible to us. He could just kick back and bask in the glow of his past achievements, yet he has such a love of music and performance that he remains driven not just to tour (and put on a great show) but to record new music. And this isn't filler. All future McCartney compilations need to make room for "Come on to Me."
Professional reviewers will no doubt discuss "Fuh You" and talk about how it takes "Why Don't We Do It in the Road" to a not-so-subtle extreme that may be ill-advised for a very family-friendly, generation-bridging artist. But you know what? The song rocks, and it has a fantastic melody. Bottom line: it works.
Professional reviewers will no doubt talk about the anti-Trump screed "Despite Repeated Warnings." McCartney gets more specifically political than we've seen in the past. He's been up front about his vegetarianism, the need for Love, his love of freedom in the face of terrorist threat. But this time he's laying it out there: We've got a very specific problem, and it's going to take some real effort to right the ship. It's a great song with clear, memorable imagery and a cool, disjointed feel.
Professional reviewers will no doubt compare the closing song "Hunt You Down / Naked / C-Link" to other McCartney song suites and mash-ups. And this will come out favorably. Hardly a throwback to an old strategy, it's a continuation of something he started way back when, and it's still a great way to sum up what's come before and give closure to a wonderful musical journey.
It's a musical journey with a lot that could drag it down. Backwards guitars, exotic rhythms, references to McCartney's life, both past and present. There's a lot that could make this feel derivative or burdened by all that's come before. Yet the album has incredible forward momentum, and let's not forget, as songs like "Fuh You" remind us, McCartney can be a funny, silly guy. Genius and silliness can work very well in the right proportions.
Egypt Station is a concept album, and it's a set of completely individual songs. It's a portrait of an artist as an old man (albeit one with a libido and penchant for rocking out), and it could very well have been given the label of McCartney III (though I think that best fits with his Firemen album, Electric Arguments) or perhaps Ram II. I love the mix of slower songs, folky guitar strumming numbers, danceable rhythmic numbers, and absolute get-out-of-your-seat celebratory rock and roll. "Come on to Me" is the best, I think, but "Who Cares" "Back in Brazil," and "Caesar Rock" are outstanding, too. This is an album, though, where on any given day I might be more excited about any one of the songs, and I'm happy with whatever is playing at the moment because the successes of the individual songs work even more brilliantly when taken as a whole.
At this point, any new Paul McCartney could end up being his final statement. I hope very much that McCartney will continue to defy expectations and keep making great music for years to come. I'd love to write a review someday that says "Who knew when he was 76 that he was still in the middle of his prime?"
And I need to point this out: McCartney's voice sounds great. The music is tight, the production flawless, and at the center of it all is the voice we've known for all these years. Older, yes, but present, strong, inspired, and full of heart and soul.
The more I listen to this, the more I like it! My actual rating would be 4.5. A user below suggested that Paul should have just stopped making music after the Beatles broke up... that he should stop hurting our ears??!! While I admit he can write a clunker every once and a while... who doesn't? I would have missed so many wonderful songs if he had just quit. Just because I think something is good, doesn't it mean it is. Just because someone else thinks that it's not, doesn't mean that it is terrible. An artist generally makes art for himself, and leaves it up to the public whether they like it or not.. that's the beauty of freedom of choice. you don't have to buy what you don't like. But, to suggest that he should just simply quit making his art, because someone may not like it... to me is ridiculous! I've always wondered, if any of the people that denounce someone's entire body of work.. have ever created anything remotely resembling art themselves!?? I doubt it. But in the court of public opinion we all seem to be experts. I personally don't know anything about anything, but I like this album! I think he put a lot of work into it, and I'm even starting to like fuh you.. it's an earworm. There are many awesome songs on here.... but what do I know? find out for yourself.. that's the fun..
I’m not gonna over analyze every single note from every track. I’m not gonna compare this to the work he did when he was 24. I’m just going to tell you how much I enjoyed the album.
Only played it through once so far (there will be many more to follow), but I can happily say that it well exceeded my expectations and find it to be a very solid effort, and deserving of a place high up in the McCartney canon.
The album alternates between a slow/quiet track, and a more uptempo number that follows that. (Lather, rinse, repeat). This album has the feel of something new and fresh, while the influence of glorious past forebearers can be felt throughout (think mid to late period Beatles, Pepper, Magical Mystery Tour, White Album and Abbey Road). The music sounds fresh and contemporary but rich in history.
A new album from any legend such as Sir Paul is reason to be happy; a really good one like this is reason to be giddy. My neighbors are going to think that something is wrong with my stereo because I’m going to be playing this one over and over.
Go on ahead and splurge and get it, you won’t be disappointed. Thanks Paul. Take a trip to Egypt Station.
Top international reviews
This is a fine sounding album (can us oldies still use that for a CD?) musically. Okay, the musicianship should be exemplary anyway, but this has just the right amount. ‘Come On To Me’ was an obvious single, if such things actually exist now, and the first few notes of ‘Who Cares’ is reminiscent of the start from Harrison’s ‘It’s All Too Much’, but turns into a decent rocker with plenty of guitar. But he has always been melodic with a softer side and ‘Happy With You’, ‘Confidante’ and ‘Hand In Hand’ are just that.
He even goes along a semi samba route with ‘Back In Brazil’ but ‘Caeser Rock’ struggles as something he might have belted out in the early 70s. Yes he can sing better than all of us but I think he fails in his endeavour on this. It has a bit of backward guitar in it. My own opinion of ‘Despite Repeated Warnings’ is it's too political and goes on too long to be anything other than a bit of a mess. The last track, ‘Hunt You Down/Naked/C-Link’ starts with a catchy riff and ends with two minutes of vocal less guitar, and you'll know when each part of the three starts.
There are a couple of things here I don’t much care for, but the rest is a good mix of ballads and rockers and most have complete endings. Not his best and certainly not his worst, and it is close to an hour's worth of listening. It’s a shame the cracks in his voice are evident on some songs and it does make you wonder how much more he has in him. I don’t want to read reviews of anything he does that say, “This man used to be Paul McCartney”.
As a point of interest, my CD was stickered as a ‘Limited Edition Concertina CD’ but I’m guessing it’s limited to how many can be sold.
Nach dieser Einleitung nun zum eigentlichen Thema: "Egypt Station" ist das neueste Album von Paul, dessen Spätwerk seit dem melancholischen "Chaos and Creation in the Backyard" sehr zu überzeugen vermag. Auf seinen Alben der letzten Jahre zeigt er sich würdevoll gealtert, ohne dabei wirklich alt zu klingen: Frisch und modern kommen seine Songs daher, die jedoch mit jeder Note erkennen lassen, dass hier ein Ex-Beatle am Werk ist. Paul ist wahrlich keine alte Socke, in dieser Rolle hat er sich nie wohlgefühlt. Aber er biedert sich auch keinem neuen Trend an. Er bleibt echt, er bleibt Paul.
"Egypt Station" schafft den Spagat zwischen zeitgemäßem Sound und den musikalischen Wurzeln McCartneys am, wie ich finde, bisher eindrucksvollsten. Es ist dabei nicht ganz so modern produziert, wie "Memory Almost Full" oder "New" es noch waren, jedoch auch kein minimalistisches Album wie "Chaos", sondern irgendwie eine gute Mischung aus allen, mit einigen Ablehnungen an das schöne "Flaming Pie". Es ist nicht übermäßig spektakulär beim ersten Hören, aber es ist rund und funktioniert tatsächlich am allerbesten, wenn man es in Gänze hört. Dann entfaltet es eine wahrhaft magische Wirkung und entführt einen in eine andere Welt. Es ist nachgerade verblüffend, wie viele wundervolle Lieder dieser Mann nach all dem, was er schon geschaffen hat, immer noch aus dem Ärmel schüttelt. Ich möchte auf die einzelnen Songs jetzt nicht eingehen, das wurde bereits in vielen anderen Rezensionen getan. Ich jedenfalls bin beeindruckt vom Melodienreichtum, die nach all den Jahren seine Musik nach wie vor auszeichnet. Und dann gibt es mit "Despite Repeated Warnings" auch noch einen Song, der aus mehreren Teilen besteht - "A Day in the Life" lässt grüßen.
"Egypt Station" ist ein unfassbares, wundervolles Album das glücklich macht. Glücklich, dass es immer noch alte Haudegen gibt, die in ihrem hohen Alter noch so großartige Musik produzieren. Sie werden leider von Jahr zu Jahr weniger - um so intensiver sollten wir Perlen wie dieses Album genießen und dankbar dafür sein, dass es sie noch gibt.
The voice is in good form; yes it's older, but very expressive. Also many lyrics show a lot of thought and intent. However, there's rather a lot of fist in the air tub-thumping ("Yes we can do it, Yes we can do it, woah woah wo.... "), sometimes trying to be political, sometimes sounding like a boy-band stadium sing-a-long type thing. One example would be "Despite Repeated Warnings", the first part of it has a really good melody and a degree of ambiguity in the lyric, but soon descends into cliche platitudes. By comparison, McCartney's "political "Big Boys Bickering" (remember that one), now sounds like a masterpiece.
Genius doesn't go away. McCartney still has it, but his energies, and perhaps more importantly his time, are directed at gruelling world tours.
Packaging is poor. Whilst I am aware of the need to cut back on plastic cases, the red elastic ribbon which holds this together fell apart within minutes. Have your glue pot ready.
Je complèterai ce commentaire d'ici quelques semaines. Car c'est comme un parfum... il y a les premières sensations, mais il faut voir comment ça évolue dans le temps, ce qu'il en reste...
Une semaine après et de multiples écoutes... parmi d'autres...
Comment fait-il ? Comment fait-il pour arriver à composer des mélodies aussi simples, efficaces, qui accrochent (enfin... je parle pour moi). Plus je l'écoute, plus je l'adore. Au départ, il y avait 2 ou 3 chansons qui me plaisaient moins... mais maintenant, même dans celles-ci, il y a quelque chose qui reste en tête et que j'aime bien.
C'est, pour moi, le meilleur album de McCartney depuis très très longtemps. "Who cares" fait très Sheryl Crow, "Do it now" est très Harrison dans les successions d'accords. Album très varié, très bien produit
Bon, par contre,... les paroles... il va quand même dans la facilité...
Evidemment, on trouve des "Silly love songs" caractéristiques de l'homme. Mais comme il dirait : "What's wrong with that ?"
The experimentaion that he shows on almost every track is quite astounding. He uses such a variety of instrumentation thoughout the album it is quite hard to recognise, without repeated listening, as to what you are actually hearing. For example on "Back in Brazil", a latin flavoured love story song, there appears to be woodwind instruments playing the keyboard / piano parts.
The whole thing is fascinating and I am looking forward to playing it many more times. Everyone will have their particular favourites and these did it for me; "I Don't Know", "Who Cares", "Hand in Hand", Dominoes", "Back in Brazil", Despite Repeated Warnings" and the excellent trilogy closer "Hunt You Down/ Naked / C-Link" (the latter featuring Paul, unusually, on extended Electric Guitar soloing blues territory.
Is it a masterpiece? Not at present but remember that his first two solo LP's (remember when that's what they were called) were not highly regarded. Personally I think he has captured the essence of what many feel are good Paul McCartney moments in song, updated his sound and production by seeking out class producers whilst, at the same time, managing to bring in the freshness of the experimentaion of his The Fireman alter ego.
McCartney hat sich mit den richtigen Leuten zusammen getan. Denn hier klingt nichts altbacken oder überholt und zugleich ist es keine Verleugnung seiner musikalischen Geschichte. Irgendwie hört man, das weiße Album ebenso etwas heraus wie Sgt. Peppers oder die WINGS und doch klingt es nie, wie jemand der längst vergangenen Zeiten hinterherläuft.
Dass Album beginnt enorm stark (erinnert die ersten Sekunden frappant an den Sgt. Peppers Anfang), schwächet zur Mitte hin (People want peace, Hand in Hand) nimmt aber kurz vor Schluss mit Despite Repeated Warnings wieder an Tempo auf. Die letzte Nummer beschließt das Album dann so grandios wie es begonnen hat.
Für mich ein absolut gelungenes und überraschend gutes Album. Und McCartneys Stimme ist wieder besser oder im Studio besser zurecht gemacht als in den letzten Jahren zu hören war.
Textlich ist ihm seit den Beatles ja nie so der ganz große Wurf gelungen und so ist es auch hier, aber kein Mensch kauft wohl McCartney-Alben wegen der Texte.
Mit Sicherheit eines der besten Alben die McCartney seit den 90igern machte. Hätte man bei dem Album auf ein paar schwächere Nummern verzichtet und statt 14 Liedern nur 10 veröffentlicht, wäre es wohl als ein Meisterwerk zu werten. Sollte dies sein allerletztes Album sein, so ist Macca mit ziemlich viel Glanz abgetreten.
PS: Für alle Downloader Liebhaber. Ihr verpasst etwas ganz großartiges, denn das Album bietet ein fantastisches Cover das nur zur Entfaltung mit dem Album kommt und nicht bei einer gesichtslose Datei! McCartney kommt eben aus einer Zeit wo ein Plattencover eben noch mehr war als nur eine Schutzhülle und das merkt man an dieser CD ganz besonders stark. Dafür noch einen Extrapunkt!
I won't go through the first 13 tracks because they are all, in my opinion enjoyable.
The album then takes a bit of a dip. A lot of people seem to like Track 14 - Despite Repeated Warnings, the longest track on the album, but for me it's the one track on the album that I will probably be skipping, it starts off OK but the faster tempo middle bit is lyrically and musically tedious, it then goes into Paul singing " we can do it yes we can do it " ( an unfortunate repetition of Track 12 - Do It Now ) and by the time Paul sings the closing refrain " it's the will of the people " I'm afraid I'd lost the will to want to listen to it again. ( I did listen to it several times hoping it would grow on me, it hasn't ).
Track 15 is an irrelevant 46 second segue into a 3 piece medley, Hunt You Down is a decent if unspectacular little rocker, Naked is pleasant enough, lifted by some groovy backing vocals, which leads into a slow but interesting blues guitar solo by Paul, finishing with the guitar playing in tandem with orchestral strings - very nice !
I must admit some of my other McCartney albums don't get played very often, I think this one will.