Chaos and Creation in the Backyard
Chaos and Creation in the Backyard is the record that all Beatle and Macca fans knew, deep down, he had in him. Since the collapse of Wings there’ve only been a few singles worthwhile of mention and they didn’t start until “My Brave Face on Flowers in the Dirt.” Although he has been restoring fan faith since 1997’s Flaming Pie, excluding Driving Rain, Chaos and Creation in the Backyard is his best record since 1971’s masterpiece Ram. As with Ram, this record is a stripped-down affair where McCartney plays primarily all the instruments. That doesn’t mean it is a four-track record of guitar, bass, drums and vocals — Macca enlists producer Nigel Godrich (OK Computer) to clean up the record and fit in the bits of horns and strings that show up here and there. What makes it so great is that it lacks the over-sentimentality of a Paul McCartney record. There is still a fair share of love songs, but the record is reflective to the point of being meditative. The hooks are still there, and it lacks any filler tracks, a first for a McCartney disc. This isn’t just a matter of playing good solid rock music — he did that on Run Devil Run. It’s as if those years of critics busting his chops over being so commercial finally pissed him off. This isn’t some cheesy coy attack on his critics like “Silly Love Songs.” Instead, it is some of the most inspired writing Sir Paul has given the public since he and Lennon parted ways.