by Julia Vaccarella ’20
At the height of the 1960s, The Beatles’ innovative sound was just beginning to take over the music industry. Decades later, the band’s legacy still remains present to composers, fans, and individuals all over the world. This is particularly evident in the case of renowned singer and instrumentalist, Paul McCartney, who recently released a solo album entitled Egypt Station, which debuted on the Billboard 200 chart at no. 1.
This album is McCartney’s first studio release since 2005. At 76 years old, it is clear McCartney is not yet finished producing music. Undoubtedly, McCarthy is still regarded very highly, with Rob Sheffield of Rolling Stone stating in a review of the new album, “Make a list of all the songwriters who were composing great tunes in 1958. Now make an overlapping list of the ones who are still writing brilliant songs in 2018. Your list reads: Paul McCartney.”
Egypt Station boasts a full setlist, consisting of 16 tracks. Many of the songs adhere to the acoustic sound that initially brought so many towards the music of the Beatles. Those who listen to any song on the record will hear visible incorporations of steady drum beats, and calming bass. There is also a rather consistent balance of slow, melodic songs with faster-paced lyrics.
Furthermore, the cover art for the album was extracted from artwork produced by McCartney back in 1988. It features a colorful landscape scene of a blue sky with clouds and the sun, as well as characteristically “Egyptian symbols and shapes.” Clearly, his inspiration for the artwork was the concept of simplicity.
“I liked the words ‘Egypt Station.’ It reminded me of the ‘album’ albums we used to make…‘Egypt Station’ starts off at the station on the first song and then each song is like a different station,” McCartney has said regarding the new record. “So it gave us some idea to base all the songs around that. I think of it as a dream location that the music emanates from.“
One of the most notable songs that reflects the sound and style of The Beatles is McCartney’s “Confidante,” which was released prior to the complete album. While the typical definition of the word connotes the image of a trusted friend or advisor, McCartney explains that the song is a tribute to his guitar and the impact the instrument has had on him since the early days of his career. This parallel, among others, is an indication that McCartney still has much more to offer the music industry, whether that be as a historically noteworthy member of The Beatles or simply as a champion and lover of music.
It is clear that McCartney has come a long way since The Beatles’ Please Please Me was released in 1963. Egypt Station leaves listeners with a well-rounded picture of who Paul McCartney is as an artist.