Inevitably, The Fireman’s new album, Electric Arguments, will never really be viewed as anything other than the latest vehicle with which Sir Paul McCartney has been desperately attempting to resurrect his floundering career, and/or some semblance of artistic credibility.
As such, it has certain expectations to live up to — namely, that it would be as resoundingly mediocre as much of his output has been for the past decade or three. In this respect — and this respect only — it does not disappoint. This is bloated, outdated and egotistical claptrap, and yet there is awfully little one can say about the music — except that it is there — so resolute is the lack of charm, innovation or interesting melody.
If there is any redeeming aspect to be found in it’s infliction upon the world, it could only be that at least, unlike Chinese Democracy; product of that other stalwart of a bygone musical age, Axl Rose, its gestation period came in at under twelve years. Indeed, behind the façade of glossy production values, the inexplicable inclusion of pan-pipe harmonising, and the pseudo-profundities to be found in the tired, boring lyrics, it has the feel of an album that might have been dreamt up and knocked together in someone’s lounge one Sunday, and “classed up” with a labour intensive afternoon of Garage Band-ing.
Of course, given the self-indulgent nature of the entire album, it seems equally conceivable that redemption was always intended to belong to Macca alone: truly, the divorce which brought new meaning to the word ‘acrimonious’ is no longer the worst thing that he’s done in 2008.