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POLL: How do you rate the Paul McCartney/Fireman "Electric Arguments" album?

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by mrjinks, Mar 3, 2015.

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  1. mrjinks

    mrjinks Optimistically Challenged Thread Starter

    Boise, ID.
    Album poll #21 (of 25) for McCartney's post-Beatle albums! The end is near! This is the only "Fireman" or "fringe" project I'm including in these polls, for reasons I think are obvious: these were all-new studio recordings, composed solely by Paul, who played virtually every instrument and sang lead vocals throughout the album (unlike other recordings released as Fireman/Liverpool Sound Collage/Thrillington/Twin Freaks, etc.) and he co-produced it. Fair enough?

    The ground rules: this poll, like the others, is designed for people familiar with the album in question and with at least some familiarity with some of his other post-Beatle catalog (for comparison purposes). If the poll doesn't interest you, please kindly move on to a thread that does. I intentionally don't name "comparison albums" on the best-to-worst scale, as some may think a particular album of his is awesome, while others may have a completely different take on the same album. Just consider how YOU would rate it in comparison with his other post-Beatles work.

    If you've missed a previous poll, feel free to vote below. Here's a recap of how the others have rated so far:
    The "New" poll. 382 votes, with an average rating of 3.65 (edging slightly towards "solid effort").
    The "Back To The Egg" poll. 354 votes, with a nearly identical (!) average rating of 3.62.
    The "Wild Life" poll. 381 votes, with an average rating of 2.90 (just below "not bad").
    The "Driving Rain" poll. 298 votes, with an average rating of 2.77.
    The "Flowers in the Dirt" poll. 341 votes, with an average rating of 3.74.
    The "Flaming Pie" poll. 338 votes, with a very favorable average rating of 4.12.
    The "McCartney II" poll. 275 votes, with an average ratingof 3.13.
    The "Red Rose Speedway" poll. 303 votes, with an average rating of 3.32.
    The "Memory Almost Full" poll. 225 votes, with an average rating of 3.36.
    The "Pipes of Peace" poll. 234 votes, with the lowest average rating to date of 2.47.
    The "Band on the Run" poll. 410 votes, with the highest average rating of 4.63 (!!).
    The "Give My Regards to Broad Street" poll. 221 votes, with an average rating of 2.56.
    The "McCartney" poll. 334 votes, with an average rating of 4.02.
    The "At The Speed Of Sound" poll. 335 votes, with an average rating of 3.14.
    The "CHOBA B CCCP" poll. 174 votes, with an average rating of 3.01.
    The "London Town" poll. 213 votes, with an average rating of 3.25.
    The "Kisses on the Bottom" poll. 207 votes, with an average rating of 2.53.
    The "Off The Ground" poll. 236 votes, with an average rating of 2.91.
    The "Run Devil Run" poll. 132 votes, with an average rating of 3.70.
    The "Tug of War" poll. 226 votes, with an average rating of 4.10.

    Thanks to all those who continue to take place in the voting!

    For those who question/dislike the poll choices, I take full blame. My fullest attempt to explain the "logic" behind the rating options is explained here.
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2015
    linclink, Mother and theMess like this.
  2. LandHorses

    LandHorses Forum Resident

    New Joisey
    Clearly one of his best works - essential listening for Paul fans
  3. supermd

    supermd Forum Resident

    San Jose, CA
    My take on this album is different than most of the forum, as far as I have seen. I like the first half, but the second half is BORING. I don’t play it. I rated this “Lower-tier McCartney” – my first time rating any of his albums this low on this series of threads – because, as an album, not only do I never finish it because of boredom, but I don’t like half the songs. I’m glad he did it, because I believe artists should do whatever their muse tells them, but this one isn’t for me.

    That being said, I’d still like to purchase the deluxe edition of this album. I missed out on both chances to buy it.
    anthontherun likes this.
  4. gkella

    gkella Let there be songs to fill the air

    Toronto, Canada
    Just like the rest of his stuff for the past 20 years or so.
    I buy it, play it for a month or so and then it sits on the shelf
    collecting dust.
  5. brettb33

    brettb33 Forum Resident

    It's a brilliant album. One of his best in my mind.
    somnar, Fivebyfive, linclink and 3 others like this.
  6. heatherly

    heatherly Well-Known Member

    One of his best records, hands down.
    linclink, Perian and theMess like this.
  7. mmars982

    mmars982 Forum Resident

    Pittsburgh, PA
    A great record, although I wouldn't rank it "one of his best works", so I voted for the second option. I sort of think of it as "McCartney III".
  8. Tim Wilson

    Tim Wilson Forum Resident

    Kaneohe, Oahu, HI
    To me, absolutely top tier. Ram is top, and Electric Arguments is in the scrum with Band On The Run and Venus and Mars for some order or another of 2-3-4, depending on my mood.
  9. Chuckee

    Chuckee Forum Resident

    Upstate, NY, USA
    Got bored with it quickly, meh.
  10. BadJack

    BadJack doorman who always high-fives children of divorce

    Boston, MA
    I think it's the best McCartney album of this century.
    Lewisboogie, dbacon and Steve G like this.
  11. Holerbot6000

    Holerbot6000 Forum Resident

    Is that the one with the naked girl on the cover? I think it's Arlene Bell....
  12. Daniel Plainview

    Daniel Plainview God's Lonely Man

    Low tier. This record didn't do anything for me, and I am a major "Rushes" lover.
  13. Steve G

    Steve G Senior Member

    los angeles
    voted with the majority. I prefer the Fireman to his other stuff
  14. seed_drill

    seed_drill Senior Member

    Tryon, NC, USA
    I like it more than his recent "solo" stuff. Also, for you Lp lovers, it was originally shipped in one of those PVC outer jacket, so get that record out of there.
  15. mrjinks

    mrjinks Optimistically Challenged Thread Starter

    Boise, ID.
    I'm not sure I understand the "PVC outer jacket" comment - are those known to damage LPs or something?

    I'm not too worried about mine, cuz it came in the deluxe "pizza box" (sans PVC outer jacket), but am still curious about the comment above.
  16. seed_drill

    seed_drill Senior Member

    Tryon, NC, USA
    You must have missed that lengthy thread. PVC jackets offgas which leaches into your vinyl, ruining it. I think there was already visible (but not audible, thankfully) signs of deterioration on my copy of Electric Arguments.
  17. mrjinks

    mrjinks Optimistically Challenged Thread Starter

    Boise, ID.
    Ahh, thanks - I did miss that discussion. I think my Hip-O vinyl copies of Ringo's last two releases (Y Not & 2012) might be my only ones where this would be an issue. I'll have to take a close look at them. Or maybe, if it destroys the music on the LP, I should just leave them in the PVC jackets in those cases... :shh:
    paulmccartneyistheman likes this.
  18. theMess

    theMess Forum Resident

    Kent, UK
    I have voted 'Clearly One Of His Best Works', because, quite simply, it is in my opinion one of his best solo albums.

    Throughout his solo career, Paul has swung from releasing 'commercial' rock/pop music, with the fairly regular foray into genre exercises like You Gave Me The Answer and Baby's Request, to experimental and risk taking works like McCartney, Wild Life, McCartney 2, Rushes, Twin Freaks, etc.

    Many of his fans and critics disagree about the success of each side of his career, and over how much the experimental side should influence the 'pop' side.

    I happen to be a fan of both sides of his solo career; I enjoy songs like Temporary Secretary, Secret Friend, Mumbo and Lalula, but I also enjoy songs like Jet, Junior's Farm, Listen To What The Man Said and Take It Away. Having said that, I do wish that Paul had relied on songwriting craft less of the time and experimented more throughout his solo career.

    I personally believe, and Paul has basically said as such, that the main reason that he didn't experiment more often on his solo records was because the press almost always tended to criticise him when he did. Albums like McCartney 2, Wild Life and McCartney received more negative reviews than positive ones, and these reviews left Paul reeling and worried. The result in every case was that he followed up those albums by releasing a more commercial follow-up; McCartney was followed-up by the fully produced Ram, Wild Life by Red Rose Speedway and McCartney 2 by Tug Of War.
    Paul was basically damned if he did and damned if he didn't with many critics, and I just wish that he had decided to ignore them, but I can understand why that would be hard for Paul to do.

    Since Paul stopped having big hit singles in the late 80's and early 90's, and since the release of the Beatles Anthology projects, he seems to be more willing to experiment on a consistent basis than at any time since he was in the Beatles. He has tried his hand at classical composing, electronica, remix albums and ballet scores, as well as collaborations with Freelance Hellraiser, Bloody Beetroots, the remaining members of Nirvana and now with Kanye West.
    Over the same period of time, he has also received more consistent critical praise than he has ever received since he left the Beatles for his regular solo releases.

    With Electric Arguments, I feel that Paul achieved a nearly perfect balance between both sides of his career. He managed to mix the melodicism that he is best known for, with the experimental edge that he showed on albums like McCartney 2, and what he ended up with was an album that rightly received almost universal critical acclaim.

    Paul has always delivered when he has some form of restriction placed on him, and the fact that he only gave himself one day for each song shines through in the freshness of the songs. Sometimes in the past, Paul has 'overcooked' his albums by spending too long on them; with this album, he didn't give himself the option.

    I also love the ambition of the album; in the past Paul has often left his longer compositions off of his studio albums (Rode All Night, Secret Friend, Hanglide), but on this album he included them, and the album benefits for that decision.

    I don't love every moment of the album, and sometimes feel that the more straight-forward songs like Sun Is Shining and Nothing Too Much Just Out Of Sight could have been edited down in length a bit, but overall I enjoy EA every time that I listen to it.

    Some of my favourite songs include Nothing Too Much Just Out Of Sight, which is one of Paul finest hard rock songs in decades and a nice lyrical nod to Ob-La-Di Ob-La-Da, Sing The Changes, a surging and anthemic rock song that I can imagine being a hit single 20 years ago, the beautiful and delicate Traveling Light, the melodic Sun Is Shining, the Spector-esque Dance 'Til We're High, the atmospheric Lifelong Passion and especially the experimental and ambient Universal Here, Everlasting Now and Is This Love?, which despite taking longer to get used to, are now arguably my favourite songs on the record.

    The only big problem that I have with the release is that Paul should have had the guts to release it under his own name, which is something that Paul has acknowledged. It is a shame that an album this successful and experimental is not more well known, and it would have been had he put his name on it in a more obvious way.

    I really hope that the rumours of a follow-up are true.
  19. Mother

    Mother Forum Resident

    It's an album I need to listen to more. And look forward to doing just that.
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2015
    theMess likes this.
  20. paulmccartneyistheman

    paulmccartneyistheman Forum Resident

    It is one of his best works, it's everything great about Paul in one record, great vocals too imo. I really want the next one soon...
    Lewisboogie, Perian and theMess like this.
  21. paulmccartneyistheman

    paulmccartneyistheman Forum Resident

    What are the rumors?
  22. drbryant

    drbryant Senior Member

    Los Angeles, CA
    It's a great album; doomed commercially by its experimental nature and the release under the Fireman monicker. Buried among the ambitious and often less accessible tracks are three absolutely brilliant tracks.

    Sing the Changes - With the wonderful keyboard counterpoint and the insistent signature Hofner bass line that echoes across stadiums during his live performances. Utterly fresh and among his best songs ever.
    Dance Til We're High - The Be My Baby intro and the soaring "Bells will ring out for our love" line are wonderful. Plus, it has those ringing chimes, always my favorite touch in rock.
    Sun is Shining - Gorgeous Beatlesque number, especially when done live at soundchecks. Never done live during a full concert, which is a shame.

    willy, Studio_Two, Fivebyfive and 5 others like this.
  23. walrus

    walrus Forum Resident

    Minneapolis, MN
    I think it's as good as any of his latter-day LP's. I'm not sure why he chose to release it as The Fireman, certainly more people would've heard it if it had come out under his own name, and anyone who bothered to listen to McCartney or McCartney II wouldn't have been surprised at the 'experimental' nature of some of the tracks. It's a bit too long, but I like most of it quite a bit.
    theMess likes this.
  24. seed_drill

    seed_drill Senior Member

    Tryon, NC, USA
    I like Y Not, probably more than quite a few recent McCartney releases. :hide:
  25. adm62

    adm62 Senior Member

    Toronto, Canada
    Its a good album, but I never play it. It should be noted that "The Fireman" is a duo that also includes Youth. He may not be involved much as far as writing or playing the music, but his co production is a big part of it.
    Yannick likes this.
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