Review from another forum (in case it's useful):
1) Save Us
After the drum fill, the song starts with fuzz guitar sounds and claps. It's not the just the Ronson-produced tracks that feature percussion effects like we saw in New. The band play this quite faithfully to the album, though this one is more layered and produced and less modern-American sounding (which is Abe's style). As we saw in the live version, the verses are quite a mouthfull for Paul to sing at the fast pace of the song and also the pitch was sometimes a bit off. But here he does it great and in tune, as we could have expected. The bird sounds are less like bird sounds here. Wix ends the song with a keyboard touch live and that is lifted from the album version. There's also a short "Aw" scream by Paul following.
Next up is Alligator. Luckily the lyrics are nothing like the leaked ones hehe. On Memory Almost Full Paul played it very safe by starting with the two singles and then following with See Your Sunshine. Here we're immediately off to a more experimental place.
The song starts with a Casio keyboard, acoustic guitars, tom fills and nice bass work. The sound is very much one man band Paul. Later on in the song there's the Fixing A Hole harpsichord. The drum sometimes picks up in the song with a fill reminiscent of She's Given Up Talking, though the song is nothing like that. The bridge has some flanging new-age sounds with Paul singing in his Kisses On The Bottom falsetto and the we go back to the song again. Nice song, but one you should hear more often.
3) On My Way To Work
starts with acoustic guitar, Paul singing and very nice bass work. Then a stomp your feet and clap your hands beat comes in ala Freedom and Give Peace A Change, though obviously more understated because of the reflective mood of this great storytelling lyric. Great musical interlude that makes the listener think of the machinery of work. Some part of the melody reminds me of the "rising and falling like snow in the night" line of Chaos B-Side I Want You To Fly.
4) Queenie Eye
Queenie Eye starts of with mellotron, not Wurlitzer. Uncut reviewer is no musician I guess hehe.
Then the song kicks in with the typical McCartney piano chords in eights style ala Monkberry Moon Delight, but really more like I Am The Walrus. Again, the song really has a very solid groove with tambourine and a great backbeat. At the end of the pre-choruses the song takes of with some seemingly random unexpected chords, which are reminiscent of the climbing chords during Uncle Albert's "But the kettle's on the boil and we're so easily called away" or I Am The Walrus. Then the great chorus kicks in with it's mellotron which features the lyrics "O-U-T spells out, that's out" (straight out of Christmastime is here again!) with a backing vocal repeating out which is very reminiscent of The Rutles' Piggy In The Middle or I Am The Walrus. The bridge is very small again, with some dreamy Wurlitzer and falsetto singing. Same formula as in Alligator really! Funny how this song is also procuded by Paul Epsworth, you wouldn't expect that. It's nothing like Adele. Then the chorus kicks in again. Great song! Don't expect an I Am The Walrus though. Have fair expectations of 2013 Paul.
5) Early Days
A very pretty, folky song with a very reflective and personal lyric for Paul. Ethan Johns is at work here and it shows, he knows how to make acoustic guitar sound amazing. Later on a harmonium and capoed second acoustic come in and it really feels like we're listening to a Johnny Cash' American Recordings approach. Very pretty. Some sparse snare and shakers, but mostly just the guitars and instruments setting a mood. The last verse has the great lyric:
Now everybody seems to have their own opinion
on who did this and who did that.
But as for me,
I don't see how they can remember.
When they weren't where it was at.
They can't take it from me if they tried.
For I lived through those early days.
So many times I had to change
the pain to laughter,
just to keep from getting crazed.
Phew! What a track!
Huh? Is this Giles Martin producing? It sounds very modern, with a hiphop computer beat. You would expect this to be Mark Ronson's work. It's almost a Invincible Michael Jackson like track, but with a white guy doing it with a lot less funk and soul. This is McCartney trying to remain relevant and current. I don't really like it, especially productionwise. Though we have to applause Paul for having such broad tastes.
8 ) Everybody Out There
I've already grown to love this song through the live version, so it's very cool to hear this one. Save Us Now, Everybody Out There and New are very obvious choices for the live set in the context of the record.
I didn't note the tambourine as much in the live version, nice little touch.
Starts with some backwards tape loops ala How Kind Of You and a little We're Open Tonight like guitar snippet. Then he starts strumming and singing.
Lyrics go something like if I remember correctly:
Come now lady
Don't you do me wrong
I fell for you
and now it won't be long
Before I hold you in my arms
Before I take you to my heart again
Time is flying by us everyday
I want to show my love in everyway
I wanna hold you in my arms
I wanna take you to my heart again
The song has something mysterious about in the same way Electric Arguments' Traveling Light was mysterious. It's funny we've been talking about Why So Blue quite a bit lately on this thread. A lot of souls have Paul strumming and singing exactly in that style.
This one is an Ethan Johns production again and it's thus a great production. Ethan produces with real heart and soul. There's more depth to his productions than Paul Epworth's for example I guess.
This song is not the standout we thought it could be, but it's still a pretty album track that I need to hear more often to really get a better opinion on.
10) I Can Bet
This is one of the songs that stick in your brain the easiest of all the songs, in the same way New, Safe Us and Everybody Out There do.
The song starts with like Ringo's Free As A Bird drum intro, but then something like 10 snare hits instead of two. The song is built around Rhodes, acoustic guitar, bass and drums and some electric guitar lines. It's classic McCartney power pop and very instant, yet taking surprising turns. For some reason the songwriting reminds me of Keep Under Cover/No Values/Not Such A Bad Boy-era. Less rock, more powerpop. Nice moog solo!
11) Looking At Her
Song starts with electric guitar and a computer beat. Surprised since it's not the first Giles Martin produced track with an electronic drum loop. Paul singing in falsetto mood. There's a great hook where Paul sings "I'm losing my mind" and then a wall of Coldplay-like synths kick in. Underneath or behind the quite modern production lies a very pretty song with a very nice melody and cool chords. I think I will grow to love this one on repeated listens and wasn't able to catch all it has to offer in one listen.
I didn't have the time to hear all of this song, since we only had a couple of minutes left and I wanted to hear Scared real badly. This track wouldn't be out of place on Electric Arguments. It would fit really well on the second half of the album between the more dreamy bits. Paul is singing in falsetto mode again. Some sentence went "I can't see anymore" and another "I'm going blind". The lyrics on this album and this track show the more reflective and personal side of Paul he's been showing more and more since Flaming Pie.
One think you might have noticed in my song reviews is that there are no traditional big McCartney piano ballads on this albums. Finally, here is a piano ballad. And what an amazing ballad it is. Very understated, very sparse production. Classic McCartney. This is a very personal song about Nancy and him. From the review and what I remember of the words. Since it was the last song I heard, immediately after our meeting I wrote down what I could remember.
I'm scared to say I love you
Afraid to let you know
That the simplest of words
won't come out of my mouth
Though I'm dying to let them go
Trying to let you know
I have to say I'm sorry
Don't feel sad for me
But the beautiful words
won't fly out of their cage
Though I'm trying to set them free
Trying to let you see
How much you mean to me
I remember the first time we met
Tears in our eyes reflecting
From so long ago