Paul McCartney

McCartney II

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Entitled McCartney II because its one-man band approach mirrors that of his first solo album, Paul McCartney's first record since the breakup of Wings was greeted upon its release as a return to form, especially since its synth-heavy arrangements seemed to represent his acceptance of new wave. In retrospect, the record is muddled and confused, nowhere more so than on the frazzled sequencing of "Temporary Secretary," where McCartney spits out ridiculous lyrics with a self-consciously atonal melody over gurgling synths. Things rarely get worse than that, and occasionally, as in the effortless hooks of "Coming Up," the record is quite enjoyable. Nevertheless, the majority of McCartney II is forced, and its lack of memorable melodies is accentuated by the stiff electronics, which were not innovative at the time and are even more awkward in the present. At least McCartney II finds Paul in an adventurous state of mind, which is a relief after years of formulaic pop. In some ways, the fact that he was trying was more relevant than the fact that the experiments failed.

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