On Paul McCartney's 2005 release Chaos and Creation in the backyard we see a different side of the pop icon. No longer do we hear nothing but optimistic, love songs. Paul is now venturing to the sadder side of love, the broken hearts, and fights. And the result is a darker, edgier Paul. (Don't worry, Fine Line, and English Tea will satisfy those who quench the old Paul).
1.) Fine Line - 4/5
This is the first single for the album. And also the most uptempo song on the cd. It's got a great vocal melody, and optimistic lyrics you would expect from Paul. Instrumentally the song is driven by a bouncy piano, but we get a short guitar solo that is nothing to fancy but does the job.
2.) How Kind Of You - 3/5
The music in this song gives off a sadder mood, but the lyrics are still very optimisitc "I thought that all was lost, I thought I'd never find, someone quite as kind...as you." There is not really a chorus to this song. He just says a variation of the title in the hook of the song, much like Bob Dylan. At about 1:34 we get a nice instrumental break that sounds very dark, but then we get back to the verse. This is a very Paul song.
3.) Jenny Wren - 5/5
This song has been compared to blackbird by many other reviewers, and Paul McCartney himself. Who called it the daughter of blackbird. And you can definetley see the resemblence as it's driven by Paul's vocals and an acoustic guitar. But unlike blackbird this song is a lot sadder sounding. The lyrics are very well written with lines like "Like so many girls Jenny Wren could sing, but a broken heart took her song away."
4.) At The Mercy - 4.5/5
Breaks out with the chorus that has Pauls voice layered singing "At The Mercy" it sounds alright, but I really love the verse. Driven by a nice piano arrangement, and a great vocal melody from Paul. The guitar in this song will make you think of George Harrison with the wonderfully placed and written fills. This is a rather sad song with lines like "Sometimes my head is hanging low, but its time to get on with the show." I really like this song!
5.) Friends To Go - 4.5/5
This is a folk-style song, very bob-dylanish, with only an acoustic guitar and Paul's voice early on which is joined by the percussion and piano later on. Another bob-dylan style thing about this song is how there is no chorus he just says the title as the hook. A great vocal melody, and nice music arrangement.
6.) English Tea - 4.5/5
This song made me laugh when I first heard it. It starts out with an indian style intro with lots of strings and other things, then it kicks in to what could be in a disney musical. It has a very bouncy piano, with an upbeat melody. You'll either laugh and enjoy it, or think it's a bit retarded and fruity. And even if you like it you will agree the line "Have you heard the game croquet? Peradventure we might play? Very gay! Hiphoray!" Is a bit fruity. But since its so unserious you can accept it.
7.) Too Much Rain - 5/5
Opens with a great piano line, which is soon joined with an acoustic guitar strumming along. This song is very well written, it's mood is very sad, but the lyrics are very optimistic about smiling when your sad and such. This has an incredibly strong melody, and will be in your head after one listen!
8.) A Certain Softness - 3.5/5
This kicks off with Pauls voice and a spanish style rhythm. And that spanish mood stays with the whole song. The vocal melody is pretty catchy, but the writing and melody is not strong enough to match up to the other songs on this album.
9.) Riding To Vanity Fair - 4/5
There has been a lot of talk about this song and how sour and angry it is. It's very uncharacterstic of McCartney. The mood is sounds very angry, and the lyrics speak of how his friendship was refused. "I was open to friendship but I didnt dare to presume it was their, while you were riding to vanity fair." This melody is very nice, and the music fits the lyrics very nicely.
10.) Follow Me - 5/5
This is another folky song, it kicks off right into the vocal melody accompanied by an acoustic guitar. This is another happy love song, with no chorus. It uses the title as the hook. "You hold up a sign that reads...follow me" This is a really well written song everything is here. Great acoustic guitar, nice lyrics, and a strong vocal melody. This song will be imprinted on your mind very quickly.
11.) Promise To You Girl - 5/5
Starts out with Pauls vocals and a piano, in a sadd sounding choir type thing. "Looking threw the backyard of my life..time to sweep the falling leaves away." Then it kicks into a bouncy upbeat song. "I gave my promise to you girl, I dont want to take it back." The vocal melody is very strong, and the music is great. This is one of the few upbeat songs on this cd, and its a great one that you old McCartney lovers will enjoy!
12.) This Never Happened Before - 4.5/5
A very nice ballad. Driven by the piano. A very well written love song. Once again the guitar fills are very beatle-esque. The words will be in your head for days to come. "Im very sure...this never happened to me before." Also the intro piano sounds like day-tripper to me!
13.) Anyway - 5/5
My favourite song on the album. It has an amazing piano line, this is almost as catchy as the melody. As soon as his voice comes in I get chills. It's an instantly catchy melody, and you can really feel the emotion in his voice. Damn you gotta love that piano line!! The one part where he kinda yells/hums reminds me of Lightning Crashes by Live. I just plain love this song.
Overall: If you like the Paul that sings nothing but happy love songs, you may or may not like this album. Its still the same Paul who writes great love lines, and strong melodies. But it's also a darker side of Paul. If your an overall McCartney fan and loves everything hes done go get it! Either way...I guarantee you many of this songs will be stuck in your head!!