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Wednesday, 14 November, 2001, 10:44 GMT
Paul McCartney: Press views
Paul McCartney has gone back to bass guitar
Paul McCartney goes back to basics
Press reviews of Driving Rain.

Sunday Times

Somewhere around the fourth listen, his undimmed gift for melody wins you over. You start singing along. You start noticing the good stuff: the simple prettiness of I Do, the just-right ending of Driving Rain, the classic ballad Your Loving Flame, the constant reminders that this man plays bass better than anybody. Oh, and She's Given Up Talking, a song that could easily slip onto The White Album. There's no higher compliment than that.

The Guardian

Sir Fab's millionth album finds him making the revolutionary decision to stop mucking about with guitars and pianos and stick (mostly) to playing the bass. All 15 tracks were thrashed out in a fortnight by Macca and his backing trio, and the results have a brisk, on-the-hoof feel about them. Macca's romance with Heather Mills, meanwhile, seems to have goaded him into writing a decent batch of songs.

The Independent

Macca's openness is touching, but the sometimes slack nature of the material is too often matched by settings that struggle to justify the term "arrangement". Recorded quickly with a posse of LA session musos, many of the songs sacrifice polish for freshness of performance, and though all concerned are undoubtedly good players, able to turn their hand from bluesy jams to cod-country croons and jazz-funk wig-outs, their relative unfamiliarity with the material means they only occasionally stumble across a song's most apposite form.

The Times

His high, throaty vocal on Lonely Road recalls the glory days, and on two songs co-written with his son James, Spinning on an Axis and Back in the Sunshine, he taps into a moodier, more adventurous, vein. The production has a rough, spontaneous feel that compares well with the dull sheen of previous albums. But while it is a better effort than we've come to expect, Driving Rain is still a pretty soggy experience.

London Evening Standard

Driving Rain is McCartney's business as usual. He's back on bass guitar fronting a four-piece band, and working within the parameters of super-melodic pop. Arrangements have been made but aren't in your face and David Kahne's production is old-school clean.

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