Release date: June 2007
Artwork: A pretty uninspiring cover really but nicely done if that is not a contradiction. Overall quite well packaged though. It has a good picture of Paul with all the TV screens. I always think Paul's albums lack interesting liner notes and information though.
General Comments: An album that divides fans opinions. I am sat firmly in the against camp, however this is more due to frustration as there are some great songs on here.
The production is not very appealing to the listener and does not make you want to play the album too often and some of the tracks are lightweight and should not have made the producers cull. Basically Paul was being a little lazy.
However, it was one of his most successful recent albums, so what do I know?! Anyway, I am going to re-listen with an open mind. Before I do, I just want to mention that the extra tracks which are not on the album proper are again either more interesting or better than some of the lesser tracks on the album.
Track by Track:
1. Dance Tonight
This album had more promotion than the last couple of Paul albums put together but the lead single was a disappointment really. Yes, it was catchy and yes it is quite fun and harmless but the quality is not really there. If Paul really wants the credibility his craves then he needs to keep the popular adulation he craves in check too. This should have been kept as a private family bit of fun or a b-side where it would have worked well. Surprisingly quite enjoyable live though. 5/10
2. Ever Present Past
The first song that was previewed from the album and the buzz was that it sounded like it came from 'McCartney II'. I guess that there are some signs from that 79-80 period, a heavy guitar like in Back to the Egg and some electronic influence like on Temporary Secretary. This is an enjoyable and good song with some good ideas and passages. I can't help thinking though with a little more effort that this could have gone up a notch or two. Still pretty good though. 6.5/10
3. See Your Sunshine
God knows I have tried to like this song but just can't. It is corny and lazy. The middle eight holds a little bit of interest and is the only reason I scored it 2/10. The backing vocals are dreadful, the lyrics poor and it lacks any emotion, soul or sincerity. 2/10
4. Only Mamma Knows
It needed something good to make up for the previous track and this certainly does. One of Paul's best rockers ever. This was dying to be played live and happily it was! This is loud, gritty, fun and interesting. It is pretty catchy and should have been a single. 8.5/10
5. You Tell Me
This is a beautiful song of time gone and memories past. I did not like this on the first few listens, but it is a real grower. At the start though I keep thinking it is about to turn into Stairway to Heaven! It is quite a stripped down acoustic song and Paul's higher register voice is laid bare and there are some strains showing - I am still undecided if this adds to, or distracts from, the song. Very good nonetheless. 8/10
6. Mr Bellamy
This was the big hyped song and the vibe was that it was 'Beatle' quality. It is not. Although is a pretty good, interesting song and one of the better one's on the album I find it a little irritating. Having said that I don't skip it and it deserves to make the album. 6/10
Oh dear. This is another real low point on the album for me. It has a gospel soul feel to it with a pretty good vocal. However, it does not express any emotion or sign of personal or spiritual belief. The only sign of graitude I'd have was if Paul had not written this song. Again it has a relatively interesting middle eight. 3 minutes 19 seconds too long. 2/10
8. Vintage Clothes
This is perhaps the most instant song on the album and along with Only Mamma Knows would have been a good choice as the first single. Driven by a happy piano melody that sounds a little like Fleetwood Mac, it is a truly upbeat song that bounds along with fun and interest. A really good track. 7/10
9. That Was Me
An average song that is made better due to the general faults of the album overall. A sort of a rock'n roll style in the modern era with autobiographical lyrics. Actually very good live on his small venue 2007 tour. However, should have still only been a b-side, a quite good b-side though. 6/10
10. Feet in the Clouds
This is the sort of song that I am sure Paul can write in his sleep. Lazy lyrics and a lazy song. The producer should have told Paul to go away and start again with it. This is lightweight and I find it very very very very hard to to listen too. It sounds like a demo that needs work. 5/10
11. House of Wax
The best song on the album by far. Great lyrics, great tune, great tension and atmosphere, fantastic guitar solo and a really good vocal full of emotion. This is one of the best songs of his career. It builds from the simple piano introduction into an epic. I wish this was on Chaos - especially with the 'hidden in the yard' lyrics. 10/10
12. End of the End
Another track that got a lot of interest on release due to its subject matter. This is one of the better songs on the album. Paul has this way of making sad songs better and he achieves it here. He gets the feeling just right on this one and it has some nice lyrics too. It is a perfect way to end the album. 8/10
13. Nod Your Head
Oh....there is another track! Although I understand Paul wanting to lift the mood for the listener after the previous track, he actually got me in a mood! This is just a throwaway song. The sort of thing that as a party piece he may decide to play live - at a private party mind, but not mine! Yes, the vocal is pretty good, but it is really pointless. Another track that would have just about been acceptable in the days of the 12" single of being the extra 3rd b-side! 3/10
Overall score: 77/130
Overall score indexed: 59%
Advice: DOWNLOAD THE CHOICE GREAT TRACKS! THANK GOD FOR ITUNES!