By Anthony Clegg
Though showing some signs of wear, Paul McCartney proves he can
still deliver a true performance with his new concert recording,
“Good Evening New York City.”
The album features the most popular songs from both McCartney’s
solo career and “The Beatles” catalogue.
While the music may be loved by millions, the largest draw for
this album is the ultra-superstar, McCartney.
For a 67 year-old-man who has been in the music business for
more than 50 years, McCartney’s voice sounds remarkably clear.
In this regard, McCartney is unlike many of the extremely aged
rockers of yesteryear. One can still tell who is actually singing
Signs of age, however, are present. The quality of McCartney’s
voice has a hint of hollowness to it, as if the flexibility that
once was has faded somewhat.
On the other hand, his voice will not sound as refined as that
of a man half his age, and his vocal degeneration is not nearly as
progressed as those who spend their entire careers outright
A different point of view, however, could yield the idea that
McCartney’s aging voice gives the music a different, grittier
This is evidenced best by the song “Blackbird,” where the
combination of McCartney’s weathered voice and light acoustic
overtones creates a simple yet beautiful piece of musical art.
One real allure of this album is the charm and energy that these
classic songs can generate during a live performance.
Time-tested songs like “Hey Jude,” “A Day in the Life” and “Give
Peace a Chance,” are only a few of the classic songs that are
re-lived through this recorded live performance.
The live version of “Let Me Roll It” even features a sampling of
Jimi Hendrix’s “Foxy Lady” guitar riff.
Furthermore, each of the 33 tracks begins and ends with the roar
of tens of thousands of people screaming for their musical
The palpable electricity of an audience responding to these
songs is an excellent force to really draw in listeners and keep
them thoroughly engaged.
The only real distraction of “Good Evening New York City” is the
instrument arrangement of some of the pieces.
One such example of this occurs during the song “Eleanor Rigby,”
where what should be a string arrangement is replaced with an
electric piano with a synthesized string arrangement setting.
The intended sound is achieved through these electronic means,
but this also exhibits a disingenuous sensation.
Most listeners will not realize that some of the instruments are
electronic and will not be distracted by their “too perfect to be
To further the experience of this album, those who purchase the
CD and not the digital download are treated to a few extra special
features that make the experience of listening to the CD second
only to being at the actual concert.
The special features include a DVD of the live performance,
which is created using both professionally recorded material and
audience cell phone video that combines to create a totally
Also, an insert that greatly details the importance of this
concert and fascinating images from the performance is included,
which helps to make purchasing the CD a good choice.The live “Good
Evening New York City” concert was performed at the new Citi Field
in New York in July.
This is a fitting venue since Citi Field replaced Shea Stadium
where “The Beatles” historically performed to a record-breaking
audience during their 1965 U.S. tour.
Rating: 3 out of 4 stars
Reach Anthony Clegg at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Courtesy of Amazon.com
Legendary ‘Beatle’ still energetic at age 67
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