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Thursday, 14 November 2013 12:58

Charting the Music: Paul McCartney 'New'

Charting the Music: Paul McCartney 'New'
Written by Travis Dettmann

Calling upon the fresh ears of four producers to create a monumental return to the top, Paul McCartney offers fans something "New."

With the inclusion of his records with Wings, "New" is the 24th solo album from the 71-year-old McCartney. The album features familiar pop and rock elements with current themes and wisdom.

88.1 KDHX chart position: #1 Americana and #4 CMJ Top 30 for the week of November 12, 2013.

Record label, release date and producer: Hear Music released "New" on October 15, 2013; it was produced by Paul Epworth, Mark Ronson, Giles Martin and Ethan Johns.

Can be heard on: Pop! The Beat Bubble Burst with Rich Reese, Sound Salvation with Steve Pick and Music at Work with Curt Faigle.

RIYL: Anything Beatles related, Paul Simon and Elton John.

Hometown: Liverpool, England.

RIYL: Finding strength and confidence through decades of success and tragedy.

Standout tracks: Opening with "Save Us," McCartney's driving guitar riff provides a throwback for a track that could've been written a few decades earlier. The title track is about as standard as it can get from the former Beatle, while the intense build-up of "Road" gives Win Butler and David Bowie a run for their money.

About the artist: On June 18, 1942, James Paul McCartney was born to Mary and James McCartney at the Walton Hospital in Liverpool. In 1957, a 15-year-old McCartney met John Lennon and his band at the time, the Quarrymen. McCartney soon joined as rhythm guitarist, and they became the Beatles in August 1960. After a full and fruitful decade of success, the Beatles called it quits, leaving its four members to their own ventures. A couple solo efforts later, McCartney formed Wings with his wife, Linda, which also lasted a decade. He has done many collaborations, released genre-bending achievements, played lucrative world tours and owns his own holding company, McCartney Productions Ltd. Aside from an extensive music career, he has been heavily involved with various forms of activism including: animals rights, weather-related relief efforts, musical education, the fight against GMOs, landmines and poverty.

This label: Originally a catalog company out of Cambridge, Mass., Hear Music was acquired by coffee moguls Starbucks in 1999 for the retail of music. Concord Music Group joined forces with Starbucks to form the Hear Music record label in 2007. The label, managed by Concord, has a distinguished roster including Joni Mitchell, Elvis Costello and James Taylor.

Awards and accolades: All of the following Paul McCartney (and associated acts) albums have hit No. 1 on "The Billboard 200" chart: "McCartney" in 1970, "Red Rose Speedway" in 1973, "Band on the Run" in 1974, "Venus and Mars" in 1975, "Wings at the Speed of Sound" in 1976, "Wings Over America" in 1977, "Tug of War" in 1982 and "Ram" in 2012. He's also hit the top spot 25 times with various Beatles albums. He has received two Grammys as a solo artist, seven with the Beatles and two with Wings. He and the other three Beatles became Members of the Order of the British Empire in June of 1965. Sir Paul McCartney was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in March of 1997. In March 1999, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In the U.S. alone, McCartney has moved 15.5 million RIAA certified albums.

What do the critics say: "While the songs on 'New' don't have the historical import or epic ambition of his best-known work, they also don't have the same kind of flaws. He's far less sentimental than he used to be, far less prone to letting his whimsical side carry a song off to cloud cuckoo land, and a much, much better self-editor than he was during the peak of his career. His fellow Boomer musicians could learn a lot from him. As a matter of fact, a lot of the ones from subsequent generations could, too." Miles Raymer, Pitchfork.

KDHX coverage: Chris Ward proposed a contest wherein Photoshoppers mashed up Paul McCartney with Nirvana. Rich Reese reviewed McCartney's "Kisses on the Bottom" for the KDHX Blog in 2012.

Discover more new music on all the 88.1 KDHX charts.

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