On Chaos and Creation in the Backyard

About a month ago Sir Paul McCartney released his latest album, Chaos and Creation in the Backyard. I picked the album up that week, listened to it maybe twice, and then put it away and promptly forgot about it. Tonight, cleaning out the trunk I saw the CD lying there, and I decided to give it a listen before I filed it away on the shelf.

Many reviews have called it McCartney’s best album in years. Maybe it is. I find it, well, boring. The melodies are aimless, the lyrics unmemorable. Listened to as a piece the impression one forms is of flatness. There’s nothing up-tempo here. There’s nothing anthemic here. There’s no mood shifts here. When Paul rocks, Paul can really rock. When Paul does the mellow thing, Paul can be really mellow. Chaos is firmly in the latter camp, with Paul so mellow that I’d recommend he change his medication.

I like Paul. I really do — his Driving USA tour of 2002 was utterly fantastic. But this album is definitely a weak effort, and I doubt I could recommend this to anyone but hardcore Beatles fans.

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