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Uncle G’s FUN Music Reviews
Spotlight: Paul McCartney – Egypt Station (2018 Capitol_Target Exclusive)
By Gary “Uncle G” Brown
Let me start off by saying that in my heart of hearts, that I feel it’s really an honor and a privilege to be able to do any writing about one of the world’s most admired musicians: Sir Paul McCartney. Let alone do so under the umbrella of a classic rock station out of the United Kingdom, that originated in, Liverpool. Surreal for me in a way. Yet be critical? I ask myself. I say Self: “Is that even possible?”
I spent as a youth, four years in a New Jersey (USA) town called, South Amboy. Small place, and very blue collar (at least when I was there). From the Summer of 1966 to right before I started the 4th grade in a seaside town called, Manasquan, back in 1970. I remember ‘The Beatles’ while they were still active then. I can still recall the tail end of their careers together, more than anything. When ‘Hey Jude’ was new. The radio I heard was mostly out of New York City. Stations like, 77 WABC. The bass player for The Beatles, was always my favorite, out of the fab four. John (guitarist) at times was more gritty, in which I liked. Out of the two, Macca’s music was always more appealing to me. In 1973, I totally fell into Paul McCartney & The Wings – Band On The Run. Won the actual album at a carnival. Placed a quarter on a number. The wheel was spun, and it was mine. Was already working on my first ‘non-child’ music collection. A heavy pile of wax that if put into a crate, would be hard to lift. And I was still a real youngin’. Barely had pubes. When answering the question of what the first album in my collection was, I would reply: The Beatles – Sgt. Pepper’s (1967). Regarding my childhood record collection, the first album I remember having was: The Partridge Family – The Partridge Family Album (1970). Before that, some 45’s. My interest was in my mother’s collection, as well. She was heavily into, Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass. Besides wax, she had reel to reel tapes. Not just a casual listener. Music always flowing through my veins for mom sweet mom, was a professional musician. One that sadly drank herself to death. Was age 49, and I was age seven. Stories for another day.
“Uncle G” discusses Paul McCartney – Egypt Station (2018 Capitol_Target Exclusive)
McCartney’s newest endeavor, Egypt Station, is the first real time I fell into a new Paul McCartney album, since ‘Off The Ground’ from back in the early 90’s. Meaning I played it from the beginning to the end, repeatedly. For days/weeks at a time. Enough to make the casual listener say; “Enough.”
For those who read between the lines, please get better glasses. I’m certainly not saying that everything Paul McCartney involved himself with, for the last twenty plus years has been bad. He produced an enormous amount of music during that time. His live performances dazzle everywhere he goes. I caught a show in Houston, back in 2012. One of the best concerts I ever had the pleasure of being at. Regarding Paul’s music, we all have different tastes. I’m open-minded to his whole catalog. Hit and misses are really up to the individual music listener. Going forward, I really like this album; Egypt Station. Including the two bonus tracks (way to go Target).
Two different ways for me to analyze any new music that comes my way;
musically, and lyrically. Creativity and all that as well. Those are the two main things for me. If all is meant to be, the pair can intertwine, complimenting each other, creating perfect harmony, for the listener. Whatever that bliss may be. For some, it’s the sound of a violinist playing a classical number, while for others it’s rock n’ roll played by a band on a roof-top … wait…sound familiar?
Doing my best Andy Rooney impersonation. May he be resting in peace.
Ever listen to ‘Weird Al’ Yankovic tunes?
Hearing imagined applause I say: “Thank you! Thank you!”
For that man (song writer_multi-instrumentalist_seasoned professional musician) has the ability to select, study, and break apart a song, like no other. Including work that Paul McCartney had a hand in. And it makes me wonder. Is it the lyrics? Melody? The beat? What makes certain songs, or even whole albums, stand out? Can’t just happen. Hard work, being focused…key ingredients in many success stories, including Mister McCartney’s.
In my opinion, and many others on the planet, Sir Paul McCartney is the best at everything that involves the art of making music. Lyrics are poetry/storytelling as only Paul can do it. Is a song craftsman like no other. All this description fits his 2018 “Egypt Station” to a tee. Sixteen tracks plus the two bonus ones, I mentioned. Compositions that tackle issues important to him. Not all fun and games. Paul’s point of view on subjects you, the listener, can agree with or not; global warming. A concept album by my standards, brilliantly done! A masterpiece from the beginning sounds of a passenger train, to its closing moments. And then the bonus tracks (thanks retail store giant that is not @Walmart).
I like the opening; sounds effects/angelic harmonies. A trip is about to begin. Another ‘Magical Mystery Tour’, but instead on the rails. Peaks and valleys. Slow and on time. Hard and fast. Observations are more a mature perspective. Climb aboard!
Come On To Me: My friend Kevin commented after giving ‘Egypt Station’ a first listen; “And the hits keep coming!” Hit the nail on the head, not only regarding the album itself, but this song here … will open many doors. Its lyrics are suggestive. A real rocker! Has ‘hit’ written all over it (if not already).
Fuh You: Yep! Fifty years ago innuendo ruled: Why Don’t We Do It In The Road. From The Beatles – White album (1968). Past that, I know at least one composition while Paul sings the ‘F-word’. Times are lacking perhaps? In 2018 one can pen a song entitled, “Fuh You’ … people barely bat an eyelid. It’s such a FUN song! Speaking of … PARENTS … Please don’t believe at any time of the day or night that it would be cute for little Betty or Bobby to lip-sync the words in a made at home, YouTube video. Thanks, but seriously, no.
Do It Now: A perfect piano-driven number. Strong message. Harmonies remind me of ‘The Wings’ (RIP Linda McCartney). Slow paced. Sticks in your head (same can be said about the whole album).
Ceasar Rock: Great vocal delivery! It’s the music I like best. AWEsome rhythm throughout.
Despite Repeated Warnings: The most prog-rock structured song, clocking in at almost seven minutes. Is catching headlines. The album (Egypt Station) has only been out a few days, and online debate is there for the taking. Media fuels the fire.
Warning: This will be an “Uncle G” vent…
Point blank. Pollution is still a horrible problem, here on our planet. Humans litter. Not everyone, thank God. There are some, either on their own or part of a group/company. Shit scattered. On the ground. In the water. Mixed in the very air we breathe. Selfish actions. The uninformed get cancer drinking from the tap. All can be traced to making a buck. Blue and white collar workers, with no remorse. All need to be dealt with, head on. Today! We need the road in front to be paved with solutions. And then actions backing it up. But if both the planet Mars and the Earth in temperature goes up a half degree, within the same time period, I have to start blaming something else, other than humankind. What’s a natural occurrence, and what’s not? We live on a spinning rock hurtling through outer space at thousands of miles per hour. Some out there strongly think that anything out of the ordinary can trigger a catastrophe. The smartest thing is for all humans to agree that pollution is something we should continue to strongly monitor, and not overlook. To be cleaned up when humanly possible, as long as the resources are available. I’m guessing America’s 45th POTUS if asked, would agree with that. His job to protect our borders and its citizens. Our safety and interests. And while at it, let us not eat any meat whatsoever on Mondays. Paul would dig that.
And that was an “Uncle G” vent. Now back to the show…
Hunt You Down/Naked/C-Link: A nice mix of songs that Paul shines at performing. Keys/guitar driven. Tight! Another deep in the vein of something one would find on a Paul McCartney & The Wings album. Sweet guitar moments! Tempo changes. Excites a prog-rock fan like myself.
Bonus Tracks (Target Exclusive)
Get Started: Uptempo. Positive message. What’s not to like? Almost 4 minutes. Solid all the way! Love the closing (Helter Skelter vibe).
Nothing for Free: My favorite song! It’s Paul in the 21st century. He’s got to be inspired by listening to the current wavelengths. The song is a definition of FUN, and is nearly impossible to play once, and not give a repeat listen. It’s not, Penny Lane.
Gary “Uncle G” Brown rates Paul McCartney – Egypt Station (2018 Capitol)
Ratings are an exercise that passes on to the consumer if the product is truly worth buying. Using a five-star rating system, whereas one star means it’s unlistenable, to five stars which strongly implies to run, and not walk, to your nearest retailer to buy, so as to have in your private collection.
Gary “Uncle G” Brown rates Paul McCartney – Egypt Station … 5 stars! I already said why. The songs I didn’t mention are well done as well. Variety in style. Something for every Paul follower, from all parts in his longtime career. ‘Egypt Station’ is meant to be played as an album. One track gliding over to the next. From ‘Opening Station’ to Station II (plus bonus songs). Find the time needed, and do so. Or poke around, playing whatever catches your fancy. No throwaways. It’s AWEsomeness blows “Uncle G” mind. Every year that goes by, harder to do. Thanks to Sir Paul, and all involved. ‘Egypt Station’ is located on solid ground!
Paul McCartney Official Website – www.PaulMcCartney.com
Gary “Uncle G” Brown Archives (Open 7 days a week) – www.GaryUncleGBrownArchives.com
Target (USA) – www.Target.com