Electric Arguments may get lost among an online music store’s listings or on a record shop rack if it’s only credited to The Fireman.
But beneath the name, which you’ve probably never heard of, is Paul McCartney’s second collaborative album with the producer Youth. The two first worked together on 1994’s Strawberries Oceans Ships Forest, a house music album.
Arguments’ 13 tracks – recorded in 13 days over the course a year – follow McCartney’s 2007 solo release, Memory Almost Full. But this recent release offers a little something different from the former Beatle’s mostly pop and rock-infused catalogue.
Also, whereas the last two solo albums offered some reflections on growing old, McCartney focuses more on love, dancing and other happy, uplifting themes.
Showing he can still sing (somewhat) like he did on “Helter Skelter,” McCartney opens strong with a bluesy rocker called “Nothing Too Much Just Out of Sight” but quiets down for the other songs, with the exception of “Highway.”
Some electronically tinged tracks bring to mind Surprise, the collaboration between folk rock legend Paul Simon and ambient music pioneer Brian Eno. In Arguments, McCartney also channels Pink Floyd with “Travelling Light” and “Lovers In a Dream,” the latter of which also sounds like house music.
Overall, Arguments is an enjoyable, sonically pleasing album, but nothing spectacular. If you’re a McCartney fan or just want to chill out, take a listen.
3 out of 4 stars