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Monday, 12 November, 2001, 10:17 GMT
Driving Rain: Your views
Sir Paul McCartney performing at a concert in New York in aid of the victims of 11 September's terrorist attacks
Has Sir Paul rediscovered his creative spark?
Sir Paul McCartney's new album Driving Rain deals frankly with the loss of wife Linda and his feelings for new love Heather Mills.

Recorded on a 16-track tape machine with a minimal backing band, it seems that the veteran musician is taking a no-frills approach.

"On the grand scale of things Driving Rain ranks somewhere alongside a middling Wings album - pleasant enough without offering more than a hint of the genius of The Beatles," wrote the BBC's Nigel Packer.

He added: "But there is no doubt that Sir Paul has rediscovered his creative spark, and that alone will be music to the ears of all those who have been willing it to happen - but wondering if it ever would."

But what do you think?

Is Sir Paul back on form? Is this his best solo album yet?

HAVE YOUR SAY

This is truly a fine album. Paul's bass is very prominent, there is not a lot of over-production to hide it. It rocks hard in places, and is best listened to with the volume WAY up! Not what some have come to expect from Macca, but definitely a winner!
Sharon, USA

Paul's new album, Driving Rain, is an album that most people seem to agree, gets better with repeated listening. As for me, I liked all the songs and think there is enough varitey for anyone. Paul's voice shows he can still belt it out or hit those high notes. Driving Rain is going to keep us "Spinning On An Axis" for a long time.
Cindy Smith, USA

If this album had been issued by a newcomer to the music scene it would be hailed as an absoulute classic, but so many people including critics love to knock Macca. My only compaint is the singles are using re-mixes as B-sides instead of giving us some unreleased tracks such as Lindiana - how about it, Paul?
phil mulliner, canada

Driving Rain is great ... listen to Heather ....or Loving Flame ...classic McCartney ... "Lonely Road" is a great rocker .... sounds better with every listen.
Jeff Brisbin, USA


This will be viewed in years to come as one of the great underrated albums

Sue de-Rozarieux, UK
A creative and lyrical low-point for Macca. I'm a long time fan and can't help but be depressed listening to this album. "About You" is the only halfway decent song and even it stinks. Come on people, wake up. Paul's lost it and needs a collaborator in the worst way.
Doug Stalnaker, USA

Boring, too artsy, amateur musicians, not nearly as good as Flaming Pie, Band On The Run or McCartney. What happened to guitar riffs, good arrangements and Rock n Roll. Get Back Paul.
Ben, USA

I think this is one of Paul's best albums, perhaps tieing with or surpassing Flaming Pie. I have found with this album not only do I like it and play it a lot, but I don't skip from one track to another. He has enough variety here to please just about everyone. The songs are great and prove that Paul can still belt it out and reach those high notes. At times you can hear the strong emotion in his voice which I think only adds to the song, such as, From A lover To A Friend, and It Must Have Been Magic. It was well worth the wait. Paul.
Cindy Smith, USA

It's unfortunate that everything Paul does has to be held up and compared to his Beatles output. An artist usually has no more than 10 years to operate at their peak. This seems to hold true for just about everyone I can think of, from Stevie Wonder, to Lou Reed, Brian Wilson et al. Ocassionally someone like Dylan will slump and rebound quite nicely. But even Dylan's highly acclaimed recent work is nowhere near his output back in his heyday. That said, it is astonishing that Paul still has the ability to amaze at times. Sure, he's released some stiffs, but even on his worst albums (Pipes Of Peace anyone?) there are moments of transcendence.

Driving Rain, much like Run Devil Run and Flaming Pie before it, has quite a few of these moments. While artists like Stevie Wonder and Elton John, for over 10 years now, seem incapable of writing anything that approaches listenable, Paul still has the ability to wow the listener. Sure, it would be nice if he took some more time with some of his lyrics and perhaps at some point he'll be flawless from start to finish like on Ram or Band On The Run. But for now, maybe we should appreciate the highs he's still capable of providing. Otherwise we'll be having the revisionists exhault his "misunderstood solo work" 30-40 years from now when he's retired or gone from the Earth and we have no one to replace him.
Kenny Sherman, USA


You can't judge this album on one or two listenings, you've got to hear it a lot

Yorick van Norden, The Netherlands
This will be viewed in years to come as one of the great underrated albums. Paul still has the genius to make it work, and I for one will be listening to this album forever.
Sue de-Rozarieux, UK

Driving Rain surprised me. I didn't think Paul could come up with anything sounding that fresh. It's not the Paul you grew up with. It took a few listenings for it to grow on me. While it's not perfect, it's an album that shows Paul not afraid to do something different. For that reason, Driving Rain may endure a lot longer than cynics (of which I can be counted as one on occasion when it comes to Paul) want or care to admit.
Steve Marinucci (webmaster, Abbeyrd's Beatles Page), USA

Everything he does is excellent! And this new album is great too! I like every album he did, but this is one of the best.
Fernando Sasso, Argentina

Driving is really a great album but you should really give it some time. You can't judge this album on one or two listenings, you've got to hear it a lot. Only by then you will discover it is a masterpiece. For instance, when I just got the album I didn't like Spinning On An Axis. But by now, it has becomen one of my favourite songs on the album. There's only one song on the whole album I don't like, Back In The Sunshine Again.
Yorick van Norden, The Netherlands

Although I love everything Sir Paul has done since his Beatle years, I must say that he is ageing well like fine wine. Driving Rain can also be called Getting Better All the Time. Thanks Paul for such great music and being the UK ambassador to America along with Prime Minister Tony Blair during these tough times in America.
Jeff Jacomowitz, USA


Macca is back to his best

Alan Murray, Ireland
I, for one, have found glorious moments on many latter day Macca projects. And while it doesn't have the universal appeal of a Band On The Run the new album Driving Rain delivers a bass player named Paul McCartney with a melodic sense and a knack for writing hooks while being experimental.
Michael, USA

Although driving rain is fresh and different, I feel that Paul McCartney has written music in the past that restricts his future achievements. Don't judge Driving rain by Yesterday. Driving Rain is something new.
Mark Rodwell, Thailand

Driving Rain is a top class McCartney album and it can be charted alongside his best efforts as Ram, Band On The Run and Flaming Pie. Four and a half stars!
Claudio Dirani, Brazil

It is not his best solo album so far (that is Flaming Pie) but it is a very good one. It contains some very surpising (Björk and Radiohead-like) sounds.
Frits Broekema, The Netherlands

I love this album, it's very fresh. I think it's one of the best albums he has ever had. It's so great. You should buy it!
Kathi, Germany


Slow in places but over all another classic

Martin Sim, Slovakia
Macca is back to his best. If you are new to Sir Paul or an everpresent fan, buy it! You won't be disappointed.
Alan Murray, Ireland

Paul has a gift for transforming mundane words and melodies into sophisticated, personal music. I don't think I would like these songs if they were sung by just anybody (probably not Richard Marx or Lionel Richie), but they fit his voice and attitude perfectly. Give it a listen and feel sophisticated for a while.
Chad Lawson, US

Whilst there is no immediate frog song hit, this album is pure rock from beginning to end. Macca hasn't lost his ability to make an impact.
Neil Coles, Greece

Another winner from Sir Macca. Slow in places but over all another classic. Finishes too early however.
Martin Sim, Slovakia

Macca shows he isn't ready to kick the musical bucket by giving 150% in every quarter. The work of a true creative genius.
Robert Bond, Japan/Korea

The new album is great. And to quote the master, "It must have been magic."
Sam, USA


Perhaps the most refreshing thing is that, for the first time in years, he's not trying to ape the former glories of his former band

John Scott, UK
The new album is great and gets better the more you listen to it - just like Beatles albums used to be. As usual, the critics don't know what they're talking about. Rediscovered his creative spark? He's never lost it - Flaming Pie and Flowers in the Dirt were also superb. Buy the new album - you won't be disappointed.
Ian Chidwick, UK

Listen to it. Then listen again. Then listen again. Like much other great music, it takes a little while to let yourself go and get into it. Band on the Run, Ram, Tug of War, Flaming Pie and Driving Rain are the best solo records. I believe this will become an overused word when describing Driving Rain but it is indeed "fresh".
Dennis, USA

You can't hold everything McCartney does up against the standard of a Yesterday, Here There and Everywhere or an Eleanor Rigby. It's still a miracle he had it in him and maybe that was a once-in-a-lifetime creative peak. But he's still striving, still vibrant as an artist and proves with Driving Rain that he's dancing near the flame of his creative fire and still can surprise and delight us.
Barbara Powell, USA

To all of you out there who have been discouraged by Nigel Packer's review of Driving Rain, think again! To rate this album alongside 'a middling Wings album' suggests that Packer has failed to invest the time this CD requires to reap the rewards of repeated listens.

McCartney is truly on form on this album. Perhaps the most refreshing thing is that, for the first time in years, he's not trying to ape the former glories of his former band. This time it's Paul McCartney being Paul McCartney, and the album shines as a result.

There are a large number of highlights, from the beautifully simple ballad I Do to the closing rock-out Rinse The Raindrops. After many, many listens, I am convinced that this rates as one of the top three Macca solo efforts. And please, please, please, no more reviews making smug, satirical references to the Frog Song (or Mull Of Kintyre for that matter!) It's lazy journalism and totally discounts this man's massively important output over 40 years in the business.
John Scott, UK


Paul's bass is proof that he is one of the best bass players in rock

Toni Schiavo, USA
This is Paul McCartney at his best. Most of the songs on this album are reminiscent of the Beatle years in that they hit hard with the first listen, then blossom into works of genius to be treasured for a long time. Sir Paul has stepped out of his suit of armour, strapped on the ol' Hofner, and - as usual - produced melodious chords that resonate beautifully with a rocking voice that harkens back to "I'm Down." In the morass that the public is supposed to regard today as music, it is welcome news that one of the few who showed us how it's done can still get it done.
Cal, USA

Great album! Paul's bass is proof that he is one of the best bass players in rock. This album just gets better every time you play it. Too bad that my favourite picks were not released as initial solos - it would get more play.
Toni Schiavo, USA

I think Driving Rain is a fantastic album. Paul continues to develop and has now reached a maturity as a songwriter and communicator that feels fresh, genuine and intelligent. I think the album is fantastic as a whole - it's almost like a concept album, where no piece is replaceable. Thanks Paul for the music you've given us. Don't ever stop!
Jesper, Sweden

Mockers knockers and fans must take care, don`t scar a genius because of his age and experiences.
Steve Fellows, England

At first blush I asked myself, why? But it is a bit better than "Push to Play". Paul was always the effette one, but he is the best Little Richard impersonator the UK has ever produced. For that alone, I will listen.
Max Gamman, USA

I bought Driving Rain on 13 November and have listened to it at least 20 times since then. I think that this album is brilliant. Sir Paul is at his best, but it is also very refreshing music. I can hear the emotion in his voice when he sings From a Lover To A Friend, and Lonely Road.

I also feel that all the other songs are wonderful and refreshing. I do hear some similarities to the White Album, and some of Macca's solo work. I feel that this is a very fine album. I can't believe that it is 65 in the charts! It should be in the top ten. Also, I can't stop singing Freedom. Sir Paul has done it again. He even proves that he can still hit the high notes and still has the same magic! I don't believe that he can ever lose it!
Susan , USA

Every track from the album is terrific, and it's good to hear Paul's guitar playing once again. Truly a rocker!
Diana, Canada

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