With two days left before the release of Egypt Station, most magazines, newspapers and other media have published their review of the album. Most of them are extremely positive, with the exception of Ultimate Classic Rock, which was the only one that was very critical.
Here is an overview of the conclusions and, where available, the ratings of most of the reviews.
Sixty years after “Love Me Do,” his legend already inviolable, Macca keeps adding new gems to his songbook, with nothing to prove except he’s the only genius who can do this. Egypt Station, his first in five years, is a deeply eccentric song cycle in the Ram mode. Awesomely eccentric.
It would be easy to sugarcoat and praise any new Paul McCartney music, just because of who he is. That is why it is so difficult to look at any of his work objectively, but truthfully, Egypt Station is a superior piece of music. Not because this is a Beatle, not because this is a living Rock-n-Roll legend, but because it sincerely is well-composed, thoughtful, and engaging from beginning to end.
(McCartney) doesn’t get to decide if his latest songs will be held in comparable regards to the standards he’s already given us. At some level, you suspect he knows it. “Did you ever get hurt by the words people say?” he asks on the affable chug-rock of Who Cares. The answer? “I do.” The good news is that he has little to fear. This is the most focused set since 2005 ‘s excellent Chaos and Creation in the Backyard. For Egypt Station he’s fallen back on Hemmingway’s edict that your foremost duty is to write the truest thing you know.
There is pop-Macca, rock-Macca, experimental Macca, acoustic Macca, funky Macca – and senior Macca. (…) It all adds up to an artist in rude creative health. If none of Egypt Station is quite startling enough to shift preconceptions about the most famous musician on the planet, it’s sufficiently vibrant to justify its existence, and strong enough to ensure that McCartney can sprinkle three or four tracks into the set of his upcoming world tour without setting off any alarms. Despite the distance travelled, at this late stage Beatle Paul is still travelling forward, yet to reach his destination.
But now, five years after his last album New, Paul McCartney releases his bounciest, catchiest, most consistent collection since, well, Band on the Run. (…) Let’s hear the hooks, not have to dig for them; strict quality control on melody, harmony and groove; concision – no song outstays its welcome. (…) every song puts a tap in your toe, a worm in your ear and a smile on your face.
The album is content to mine the Technicolor mind of its creator: alternately playful and earnest, melancholy and resilient, but always immutably himself — the still-vital life force of a superstar who has been there and everywhere and is glad just to be here now.
Ultimate Classic Rock:
McCartney’s age shows at times. His voice creaks here and there, and he has some trouble sustaining notes, but his songwriting barely shows the strain of his years. He’s still one of the world’s greatest at connecting the dots between verse and chorus; some of the songs here are his melodically strongest in years. (…) there’s a renewed sense of energy and purpose – even more so than on New, which reconciled the legend who reshaped popular music in the 20th century with the artist who still has something to say. He’s not giving up yet. As time moves on, one of music’s great voices won’t stand still, even if that means he occasionally stumbles along the way
The Daily Mail:
Paul McCartney’s new album is brimming with passion (and brilliant songs, too). The greatest pleasure here is McCartney’s keyboard playing, especially on Do It Now and Hand In Hand. Whether playing the piano or the harpsichord, he delivers delicious chords, perfectly paced. When the muse is with him, Macca still has the magic.
Los Angeles Times:
“Egypt Station” has a more creative, unified feel. (Depending on your taste, you’ll be either relieved or disappointed to discover that it’s not a radio-ready turbo-pop disc.)
More rigorously quality-controlled than any album McCartney’s released in years, “Egypt Station” is consistent with its pleasures: the tuneful guitar crunch, the swelling piano parts, the crisp vocal harmonies that float just so over grooves that somehow bounce and thud at the same time.
Inevitably, there are highlights, such as the sweetly strummy “Happy With You” (in which he contrasts his current life with what sounds like the dark days following the Beatles’ breakup) and “Back to Brazil,” a delightful little electro-pop ditty that reminds you how many modern record-makers (from Kurstin to Ariel Rechtshaid) probably had their minds blown by McCartney’s early solo stuff.
This is McCartney with the minimum of fuss, just verse and chorus and seemingly effortless songwriting. Arrangements are light but always with a sudden moment of hookiness, lyrics are generally up and the whole thing is run through with confidence. Making few concessions to 21st-century noise but equally never sounding old, Egypt Station is up there with Paul McCartney’s best solo work.
Good album, with some obligatory pratfalls, very few longueurs and several quality flashes of the innate melodic gift that, after all, put him precisely where he is. During those best bits, the “he’s 76, after all” qualifier becomes utterly redundant.
Just don’t say “Paul “drops” a new album…PM