Paul McCartney has released a new single — with an old feel. The catchy new song, which happens to be called "New," is the Mark Ronson-produced title track from McCartney's upcoming studio album. The album, the followup to 2012's Kisses on the Bottom, will be released October 15. And while Kisses on the Bottom found McCartney looking back to the standards he enjoyed as a teen, his new single finds him looking back to another, more important part of his past: the Beatles.
"We can do what we want, we can live as we choose," sings McCartney over an up-tempo, mid-period-Beatles-style shuffle (think "Penny Lane," "Good Day Sunshine" or "Getting Better"). In some ways, it even sounds like a Beatles parody from the late '70s, the Rutles' "Doubleback Alley." But the song is no parody. In fact, it's a clear-cut winner — his most enjoyable single since 2005's "Fine Line." It finds the 71-year-old former Beatle in strong voice, pulling out his old tricks to impressive effect.
Besides, who else but McCartney has the right to release "Beatles-esque" music? It's something he has done in the past (1989's "My Brave Face," 1993's "Cosmically Conscious"), and it he does it well. It should be noted, however, that George Harrison beat him to it, with 1987's "When We Was Fab," which even featured Ringo Starr on drums.
New, which was produced by Ronson (Amy Winehouse), Ethan Johns (Kings of Leon), Paul Epworth (Adele) and others, is McCartney's first album of original material since 2007's Memory Almost Full. Other recent McCartney releases include his 2009 live album, Good Evening New York City; his 2011 ballet score, Ocean's Kingdom; and last year's Kisses on the Bottom, which features Eric Clapton on two tracks.
McCartney also recorded with the surviving members of Nirvana on "Cut Me Some Slack," which was released as part of Dave Grohl's Sound City project earlier this year, and played standup bass on "All of Me," a track on Clapton's Old Sock album, which also was released earlier this year.