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Paul McCartney: Chaos and Creation in the Backyard

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Paul McCartney: Chaos and Creation in the Backyard

Chaos and Creation in the Backyard

The Bottom Line

Paul's back to doing it all himself on this, his 20th proper solo album (depending on how you count), but with the assistance of Britpop maven Nigel Godrich behind the boards, he's made one of his best and most introspective latter-day albums.
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  • Paul's got Britpop vet Nigel Godrich at the boards.
  • His recent milieu of quiet introspection has deepened.
  • McCartney's experimental side hasn't left him.


  • There's still something slightly claustrophobic about his one-man-band approach.


  • Paul McCartney
  • Solo
  • CD
  • Pop-rock
  • Adult Contemporary
  • Delux edition with DVD available

Guide Review - Paul McCartney: Chaos and Creation in the Backyard

Depending on whom you ask, Paul McCartney's one-man-band solo albums ("McCartney," "McCartney II," and, to an extent, "Ram") are either fascinating glimpses into one of the 20th century's greatest pop minds or the rambling, insulated indulgences of a superstar who can afford to be half-assed at his own leisure. This, essentially Sir Paul's 20th solo album, thus makes longtime McCartney (and, let's face it, Beatles) fans roll their eyes in dread or rub their hands together in anticipation.

The verdict: this new CD is better than I or II, and while it never hits Ram's high points, it's not that kind of record, anyway. The difference is producer Nigel Godrich, who's worked with insulated, indulgent geniuses before (most notably Radiohead and Beck) and who therefore knows how to get the best out of one man and his guitar. Or piano. Quietly, over the past decade, Paul McCartney's been making the best music since 1981's "Tug Of War" and is in the middle of his most fertile period since the mid-Seventies -- ironic, since the pop mainstream has long since written him off. But that exile of sorts has also resulted in some of the most introspective music of his career, and "Chaos and Creation" ups the ante on that even more than 2001's "Driving Rain" did. The result is the kind of music that rewards isolation, thoughtfulness, and indulgence. And since no one's paying attention anymore, that leaves that much more quality Paul for the rest of us.

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