The album is a little bit of a mixed bag, but is a vast improvement over McCartney's previous work. If nothing else, it shows that while McCartney has largely moved away from the pop sound of his early hit singles, he still has some pop sensibilities and that he's willing to look at the world through the lens of pop songwriting. If this album was a film, it would be an interesting contrast to Donnie Darko and would certainly be worth watching.
'Make It So' is an engaging number which at the same time, seems a little out of character for McCartney. The song feels somehow like it's trying to tell an old story, and sounds kind of like it was written in the early '90s. McCartney has the vocal chops to be able to go much further with this kind of song than he's been able to lately. The piano line on the chorus is really well done, and the song has a very quality of pop gem quality which sounds so good that it makes you forgive the song's shortcomings.
While McCartney has been criticised for too many hits and not enough meaningful songs, his new music is an example of a singer-songwriter finding a balance between the two. The best example of this is 'The Thrill'. The song is very McCartneyesque in its sound, but sounds much more like a song that could have been released by Paul Simon.
The third single, 'Tell Him', has the potential to be the song that finally gives the album a shot in the arm. It's a soulful track reminiscent of Marvin Gaye's classic 'What's Going On', and even the Arthur Conley classic 'Too Busy Thinking About My Baby' from the 60s. For the song, McCartney enlisted the singer-songwriter, Young Yonny, and himself. At the soundcheck, the singer confessed it wasn't his finest moment. He needed to work on making his voice more present and more soulful. The song presents a perfect opportunity for him to do just that. The song has a confessional feel that's more reminiscent of 'Say Something' from McCartney's first album. 'Say Something' is a beautiful ballad, but it's McCartney's ability to sing ballads that makes him the best soul singer to emerge in the past few decades.
McCartney released a new single, 'Tell Him' in June to little fanfare, but it still boasts the kind of production the singer's fans have come to expect. The newly titled 'Have It All' is a return to the purity of his debut album, 'Flirtin' With Disaster' released in 1998. Of course, McCartney is no longer limited to the style of adult contemporary music that once made up the bulk of his career. He's branched out to cover genres more associated with teen pop and urban music. The first single, 'Do The Right Thing', follows the pattern of many of his recent singles, a restrained soul song. The track's rich and full production may surprise some listeners, but it succeeds as a heartfelt love song. The second single, 'Sweet Dreams' follows that pattern and is a slick, dancey track. However, it has an unfortunate resemblance to New Edition's 1996 hit 'Cool It Now' and a few of his earlier songs. These are not the kind of lyrics McCartney intends to be singing when he hits the road in support of this album. His first tour after a long layoff will be in October and it will be the first time McCartney will perform without his beloved band, the Beatles. 827ec27edc