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Paul McCartney|Driving Rain

Driving Rain

Paul McCartney

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For Paul McCartney, Driving Rain completes the trilogy he began with Flaming Pie, in retrospect a warm tribute to his dying wife, and continued through the storming rock & roll of Run Devil Run. The first found Macca writing some of his most affecting songs while he returned to his musical standbys -- charming folk, layered pop, and amiable rock & roll. Then, with Run Devil Run, he retreated even further, finding his love for piledriving, uncompromising rock & roll. With those two extremes, he covered the bases with everything except one important thing -- he had yet to reclaim his art pop inclinations, something he does so subtly on Driving Rain. In a sense, it's a nice blend of the self-conscious Flowers in the Dirt and the organic, natural Flaming Pie, combining the craft of the former with the attitude of the latter. As such, it sounds fresh, particularly because McCartney has teamed up with young producers and backing bands that don't just allow him to follow his muse, they're eager to chase him when he extends a song to an abnormal length with a jam. This is not the homemade charm of Ram, nor the post-Abbey Road studio trickery of Red Rose Speedway or Band on the Run, but instead a seasoned professional finding a way to fuse his various influences in a record that is as proud of its melody as it is of its elasticity. As such, it's more self-conscious than its immediate predecessor and it's a little indulgent, but in a good way. When McCartney decides to indulge himself here, it's not with whimsy but with sheer musical muscle. As the record draws to a conclusion, he hauls out a bunch of inventive, winding jams that may be a little excessive, yet they're exciting because he hasn't tried something like this in years. He's grooving on making music again, just like he did on Flaming Pie and Run Devil Run. Driving Rain may not be as coherent as Pie, nor as relentless as Devil, but it's rich, layered, ambitious, and successful. Since becoming a solo artist, Paul McCartney has never delivered three records in a row so overstuffed with imagination, melody, and enthusiasm as he has in these three albums. Let's hope he can keep the streak going next time around.

© Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo

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Driving Rain

Paul McCartney

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1
Lonely Road
00:03:16

Paul Mccartney, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2001 MPL Communications Inc/Ltd, under exclusive license to Universal Music Enterprises, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

2
From A Lover To A Friend
00:03:48

David Kahne, Producer - Rusty Anderson, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Paul Mccartney, Vocals, Bass, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Kevin Mills, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Abe Laboriel Jr., Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Gabe Dixon, Piano, AssociatedPerformer - Jaime Sickora, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - MARK DEARNLEY, Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2001 MPL Communications Ltd, under exclusive license to Universal Music Enterprises, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

3
She's Given Up Talking
00:04:57

Paul Mccartney, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2001 MPL Communications Inc/Ltd

4
Driving Rain
00:03:26

Paul Mccartney, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2001 MPL Communications Inc/Ltd, under exclusive license to Universal Music Enterprises, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

5
I Do
00:02:56

Paul Mccartney, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2001 MPL Communications Inc/Ltd, under exclusive license to Universal Music Enterprises, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

6
Tiny Bubble
00:04:20

Paul Mccartney, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2001 MPL Communications Inc/Ltd, under exclusive license to Universal Music Enterprises, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

7
Magic
00:03:58

Paul Mccartney, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2001 MPL Communications Inc/Ltd, under exclusive license to Universal Music Enterprises, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

8
Your Way
00:02:54

Paul Mccartney, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2001 MPL Communications Inc/Ltd, under exclusive license to Universal Music Enterprises, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

9
Spinning On An Axis
00:05:16

Paul Mccartney, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist - James McCartney, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2001 MPL Communications Inc/Ltd, under exclusive license to Universal Music Enterprises, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

10
About You
00:02:54

Paul Mccartney, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2001 MPL Communications Inc/Ltd

11
Heather
00:03:25

Paul Mccartney, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2001 MPL Communications Inc/Ltd

12
Back In The Sunshine Again
00:04:21

Paul Mccartney, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist - James McCartney, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2001 MPL Communications Inc/Ltd, under exclusive license to Universal Music Enterprises, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

13
Your Loving Flame
00:03:43

Paul Mccartney, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2001 MPL Communications Inc/Ltd, under exclusive license to Universal Music Enterprises, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

14
Riding Into Jaipur
00:04:07

David Kahne, Producer - Rusty Anderson, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Paul Mccartney, Acoustic Guitar, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Kevin Mills, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Abe Laboriel Jr., Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Jaime Sickora, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - MARK DEARNLEY, Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2001 MPL Communications Ltd, under exclusive license to Universal Music Enterprises, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

15
Rinse The Raindrops
00:10:08

Paul Mccartney, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2001 MPL Communications Inc/Ltd, under exclusive license to Universal Music Enterprises, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

16
Freedom (Studio Mix)
00:03:33

Paul Mccartney, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2001 MPL Communications Inc/Ltd, under exclusive license to Universal Music Enterprises, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

Album review

For Paul McCartney, Driving Rain completes the trilogy he began with Flaming Pie, in retrospect a warm tribute to his dying wife, and continued through the storming rock & roll of Run Devil Run. The first found Macca writing some of his most affecting songs while he returned to his musical standbys -- charming folk, layered pop, and amiable rock & roll. Then, with Run Devil Run, he retreated even further, finding his love for piledriving, uncompromising rock & roll. With those two extremes, he covered the bases with everything except one important thing -- he had yet to reclaim his art pop inclinations, something he does so subtly on Driving Rain. In a sense, it's a nice blend of the self-conscious Flowers in the Dirt and the organic, natural Flaming Pie, combining the craft of the former with the attitude of the latter. As such, it sounds fresh, particularly because McCartney has teamed up with young producers and backing bands that don't just allow him to follow his muse, they're eager to chase him when he extends a song to an abnormal length with a jam. This is not the homemade charm of Ram, nor the post-Abbey Road studio trickery of Red Rose Speedway or Band on the Run, but instead a seasoned professional finding a way to fuse his various influences in a record that is as proud of its melody as it is of its elasticity. As such, it's more self-conscious than its immediate predecessor and it's a little indulgent, but in a good way. When McCartney decides to indulge himself here, it's not with whimsy but with sheer musical muscle. As the record draws to a conclusion, he hauls out a bunch of inventive, winding jams that may be a little excessive, yet they're exciting because he hasn't tried something like this in years. He's grooving on making music again, just like he did on Flaming Pie and Run Devil Run. Driving Rain may not be as coherent as Pie, nor as relentless as Devil, but it's rich, layered, ambitious, and successful. Since becoming a solo artist, Paul McCartney has never delivered three records in a row so overstuffed with imagination, melody, and enthusiasm as he has in these three albums. Let's hope he can keep the streak going next time around.

© Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo

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