OA: Rock Cesario Column February 13, 2009

McCartney on 'Electric Arguments’ might be an 'it’ll-grow-on-you’

Paul McCartney released a new album and, in my humble opinion, it is the best thing he has done since “Venus and Mars” and “Band on the Run.”

OK, I know it is not technically a McCartney album. It is listed under the band name The Fireman, and the CD’s title is “Electric Arguments.”

The Fireman is a duo consisting of McCartney and the record producer Youth from Killing Joke and Orb. Originally created in the early ’90s, the band was mostly a way to allow

McCartney to experiment with electronic and ambient music as he had a bit on past recordings such as “McCartney II.”

The Fireman released two CDs prior to “Electric Arguments.” However, this new CD is the first Fireman CD with vocals on every track. Those are all provided by McCartney. I won’t kid you. You may have to listen to the album five or six time for it to soak in, but I think that it will.

Last Saturday, a gentleman came into the store while my wife was there bringing my lunch.

As he made a CD purchase he noticed the cover of “Electric Arguments” on our front counter and said that he had bought it and listened to it three times, and so far he liked three songs.

My wife, who is the biggest McCartney fan I know, commented that she liked a few of the songs but thought it was weird overall.

I told both of them that sometimes it takes awhile for you to like a new recording, but those are usually the ones that turn out to be your favorites.

Then the customer, who I guess was in his mid- to late ’60s, said something I found to be profoundly funny: “I remember the first time I heard ‘Sgt. Pepper’ I thought to myself, ‘what on earth are these guys doing?’ I didn’t know what to think, so I put it away for a couple of weeks and then listened to it again. After three or four weeks, I couldn’t get enough of it, and
it is still one of my favorites.”

Now, I am not saying that “Electric Arguments” is anywhere near the recording that “Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band” was and still is. All I am saying is that you have to give new music more than a couple of chances to impress you.

“Electric Arguments” opens with a rowdy harmonica-driven blues tune called “Nothing Too Much Just Out Of Sight.” McCartney’s vocals are reminiscent in style to that of the legendary Howlin’ Wolf.

The second track, “Two Magpies,” is a catchy acoustic tune that kind of reminds me of “Blackbird” from the Beatles’ “White Album.”

“Sing The Changes” may be the most commercial song on the album and would fit well on McCartney’s last studio record. “Sun Is Shining” is another excellent song that takes me back to “Band on the Run.”

As I sit listening to this CD for the 10th time or so, I find myself liking every track, with some of my other favorites now being “Traveling Light,” “Dance Till We’re High,” “Light From Your Lighthouse” and “Highway.”

The 13 songs were created and recorded in 13 days with 24 hours given to each song. All in all, “Electric Arguments” is very creative record with extraordinary sound.

It just gets better every time I hear it. Imagine that.


Rock Cesario owns Triple Play Records, 530 Main St., and hosts “Acoustic Sunday” from 9 a.m. to noon Sunday on Drive 105.3 FM. E-mail him at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


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