Album Review: “Egypt Station” by Paul McCartney

After releasing over 25 post-Beatles albums, Sir Paul McCartney has got album writing and composition down to a tee. The British legend worked with prolific producer Greg Kurstin on the album, who has previously worked with artists such as Foo Fighters and Adele. This has helped to give Egypt Station a lovely polish. Resembling an animated train ride, the album is a lively journey through honest thoughts and emotions.

One of the album’s most enjoyable characteristics lies with how direct and cheeky it can be. Come On To Me is very flirtatious. This frisky number is lit up by robust drum patterns, irresistible brass, and seductive lyrics. It is very playful, and it is charming to see Paul having a great time with lyrics like “I saw you flash a smile, that seemed to me to say/You wanted so much more than casual conversation.” Continuing with the album’s fun side, the mischievous Fuh You has a contemporary sound. It is stitched with a summer-charged thread and shines with lyrics like “I can stay up half the night, trying to crack your code/I can stay up half the night, but I’d rather hit the road.” Not only that, but the chorus tricks you with its wordplay, although we know what he’s saying here.

“But you know that I’m only a man.”

The album also exhibits a softer and more intimate side. The piano melodies in I Don’t Know are beautifully graceful and delicate. As a song about doubting if anything is going right, its honesty and relatability will strike a chord. The track is soul-searching deeply with lyrics such as “I try to love you best as I can/But you know that I’m only a man.” The mature love songs continue with Happy With You, which is about swapping days of getting stoned with a beautiful life guided by the drug of love. Musically, the song glows with its acoustic guitar and a guiding tempo that resembles a heartbeat.

Sir Paul McCartney Out There Concert

Sir Paul McCartney performing in 2014 at the Centenario Stadium (Out There Concert), Montevideo, Uruguay.

Now, for the more retro side to the album. Dominoes is a delightful throwback to classic power pop. Its strong drums and prominent guitar riffs really help to lift the track’s energy. In the 1960s, it was that early-to-mid-60s Beatles sound which inspired numerous power pop bands in the 70s including Electric Light Orchestra, Cheap Trick, and The Raspberries. Therefore, this track’s vintage tones are especially a treat for fans of 60s and 70s power pop. Similarly, Do It Now’s baroque pop tones issue a nostalgic feeling of The Beatles’ mid-sixties hits. Additionally, Paul’s vocals here are especially exquisite.

Finally, the paradoxical Who Cares shines with its guitar and interchangeable bouts of bad-boy attitude and compassion. Egypt Station never fails to surprise, and it has you guessing at numerous turns. You will sometimes try to decode the album based on one part of it, and then realise that it’s futile. Much like the protagonist in Fuh You, you’ll finds out that you’re dealing with something much more intricate.

Final Verdict?

With over 60 years in music, Sir Paul McCartney has really worked to perfect his musical processes. This clearly shows in Egypt Station, which is as creative as it is exquisite, and as peppy as it is contemplative. However, as nostalgic and fitting the album is at times, the album has some delightful surprises. Its cheekiness is not only effervescent and lovable, but also helps to album to stand on its own two feet within McCartney’s incomparable discography. Macca proves yet again why he is (and always will be) one of music’s heavyweights. Although, surely this shouldn’t come as a surprise?

Picks: Come On To Me, Happy With You, I Don’t Know, and Do It Now.

From Sophia with Love x

P.S. For my last classic artists post, click here. 

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