The Fireman – Electric Arguments

Electric ArgumentsFor those not in the know The Fireman is an alter ego of Paul McCartney for releaseing less mainstream, more electronic style music.  When Paul is The Fireman, he collaborates with some dude who calls himself Youth (Martin Glover?).  (Though he looks pretty old in the pictures on the The Fireman Music site.  Maybe it’s one of those opposite names, like calling a bald guy “curly.”)  The duo release two albums in the 1990s: Strawberries Oceans Ships Forest (1993) and Rushes (1998). Both are enjoyable but forgettable trance albums.  (Though one song from Rushes, “Bison,” was brilliant used for the chilling climax of Cecil Jenkins’ film “American Chisler.”)

Being the unwavering Paul McCartney fan that I am, I was stunned last weekend when I read a review of “Paul McCartney’s upcoming album Electric Arguments.”  First, how had an Paul McCartney release snuck up on me like that?  Second, Rolling Stone gave it four stars?  Well, I can’t explain how I had no idea this album was not only “in the works” but utterly imminent, but know having heard the album I can explain the four stars.

Electric Arguments is quite entertaining.  First it is not just seven variations on a trance idea like the last two The Fireman albums were.  Second, it’s not really an “electronica” or “trance” album at all.  There are a few tracks that are electro-grooves, but for the most part, all songs have lyrics, melodies, themes and everything else you’d find in a pop song.  I’m curious how this album would have fared had he released it as “Paul McCartney.”  What would Rolling Stone have said then?  Still, I’m much more impressed than I thought I’d be.  I’d prepped myself for a C- only to find it was an A-!  Read Paul’s Q&A.

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