McCartney once again tops the charts with his solo album — his first in 36 years.
Paul McCartney is one of the most influential and successful musicians of the past five decades. You may know him from a little band called The Beatles. Now at the age of 76, McCartney has topped the charts once again. His new album “Egypt Station” dropped last week and landed at number one on the Billboard 200 chart. This is his eighth Number One album — but the first one in 36 years. As with artists of a similar age such as Don Henley from The Eagles or Stevie Nicks, reliving the success of the past as McCartney has is rarely achieved.
“Egypt Station” generated buzz with McCartney’s appearance on “The Late Late Show with James Corden,” wherein he helped create an iconic episode of “Carpool Karaoke.” Corden even added a one-hour prime time special devoted entirely to his time with McCartney and their filming for the episode.
The leading single from “Egypt Station” is titled “Come on to Me.” The song brings McCartney and listeners back to youthful thoughts and settings with the cheeky storyline about a new fling. It’s as whimsical as McCartney has always been described. Another well-known track titled “I Don’t Know” brings back McCartney’s epic piano accompaniments from his older ballads like “Live and Let Die” and “Maybe I’m Amazed” from the 1970s.
Even during McCartneys time with The Beatles, his lyrics held deep meanings. The song “Dominoes” on this new album sounds like advice from McCartney himself on how to live life: wait for things to fall into place and live in the moment. Looking back on the ups and downs of McCartney’s music career and personal life, it feels as if this song reveals how he has chosen to live life, or perhaps how he wished he would have in the past. 76 years of wisdom from a man with extraordinary experiences comes across as lighthearted and inspirational.
However, the song “Fuh You” is different from McCartney’s usual sound in that it resembles contemporary pop with a gripping chorus. Of course, along with The Beatles, McCartney helped define the term “pop music” itself. This new album blends the early days of pop music with that of today. At the same time, he is not trying to keep up with the times or relate to a younger audience. His fans, who have been with him since the 1960s and ‘70s, would be disappointed in any drastic change of direction in his music. Young people would see him simply as an old guy trying to be hip and relevant, like a dad hoping to seem cool to his children.
The interesting thought behind some of McCartney’s solo music after the breakup of The Beatles is that he goes into making an album without the intent or assumption that it will hit number one. He knows that he is one of the most successful musicians to ever live; he makes music for his own pleasure rather than treating it as an occupation with deadlines to meet and obligations of fame, as many of today’s artists seem to do.
Like other old-timer music icons such as The Rolling Stones and Tony Bennett, Paul McCartney does not need to retire. He is lucky enough to have what some people do as a hobby be his actual occupation. If you only know Paul McCartney from the song “Four Five Seconds,” which he released in 2015 with Rihanna and Kanye West, I would encourage you to delve into this man’s five decades of music and marvel at the fact that he is still number one.