Nearly five decades after the Beatles’ split, Paul McCartney has had quite the career. Whether it be with his band Wings or by himself, the man has delivered a somewhat consistent discography. When it comes to his latest album, Egypt Station, it’s another solid effort from Sir Paul. Not only is this McCartney’s first album since 2013’s New, it’s also his first album on Capitol Records since 2005’s Chaos and Creation in the Backyard. While it isn’t a perfect album, there’s a little bit of something for everyone here on Egypt Station.
The album follows a traveling theme, as seen on the album’s cover. From time to time, you’ll hear some atmospheric sounds that make you feel like you’re at some kind of station. The album opens with the piano driven lead single “I Don’t Know,” which sets the mood of the album nicely. Lyrically, the song fits the travel and transportation theme going on, as McCartney wonders where his life is headed. McCartney’s voice here, as well as the rest of the album, sounds worn and tired at times. At 76 years old, McCartney isn’t getting any younger. Like his peers, it shouldn’t matter what his voice sounds like if the songwriting is good- which in this case it is. From there on, Egypt Station is a splendid road trip with Sir Paul as he delivers some fine pop tunes here. The second lead single, “Come On to Me,” sounds like a lost cut from the Ram album as it’s a nifty bopping rock tune. Musically, McCartney’s backing band is in fine form throughout the album and “Come On to Me” is the go-to track to prove that.
Like New before it, McCartney uses nostalgia effectively here- with several of the songs here sounding like ones from earlier in his career. While some listeners might see this as lack of creativity, McCartney is able to pull this off. For example, “Happy With You” has a “Mother Nature’s Son” vibe to it given it’s laid back approach while “Who Cares” sounds like a rocker Wings could’ve churned out in the 1970s. While the album has this loose theme of travel, there’s quite the number of love songs here. This includes songs such as “Confidante” and “Hand in Hand.” The former tells the sweet tale of an old flame while the latter is semi-autobiographical as McCartney sings about settling down. Now being married to wife Nancy Shevell since 2011, the song could be seen as McCartney thinking out the rest of life and growing old with Nancy.
If Egypt Station were a road trip, it would have a few speed bumps along the way. At 57 minutes, Egypt Station is a fairly long album. While they aren’t bad, “Do It Now” and “Caesar Rock” didn’t need to be on this album. The former is simply plain while the latter is somewhat of a mess. Then there’s “Fuh You,” another one of the singles from the album. Co-written with producer Ryan Tedder, it’s one of the album’s weakest songs. While it is catchy, the song’s chorus of “I just want it fuh you” is cringe-worthy alone as it sounds like McCartney is saying something dirtier. Despite its weak spots, the album manages to save the best for last with “Despite Repeated Warnings.” The mini-epic tells the story of a sea captain’s blind leadership as he decides to sail near an iceberg. Lyrically, the song is symbolic of politicians- most notably President Donald Trump. At some seven minutes long, it is an epic that has to be heard.
Egypt Station is another fine album from Paul McCartney. I’m a little surprised by how much this has grown on me. It isn’t a perfect album, though. There is some filler here that could’ve been cut easily. Comparing this to New, I personally prefer New over Egypt Station. However, this doesn’t mean Egypt Station should be looked over. If you liked New or any of Paul’s other albums in the 2000s, you’ll probably enjoy this.
I'm a writer/journalist with a passion for music and pop culture. Having graduated from King's College in Wilkes-Barre, PA in 2014, I've been looking for a platform in which I can share my passions. Since 2009, I've been posting to my own blog- The Walrus' Music Blog- via Blogger. I'm also the author of two self-published books, "The Camp: Stories from the Summer" and "The College: Stories from King's." Together, the two books cover the story of my life from 2004 to 2014. I've been lucky enough to interview several of my favorite musicians over the years and go to concerts from time to time. I'm also very devoted to the CBS reality TV show Survivor, which I started watching in 2002 when its fourth season started. I currently live in New Jersey.