TIM DE LISLE ALBUM OF THE WEEK
The Senator greatly. Despite its moral whitewashing, it offers you that increasingly rare pleasure – a Hollywood movie aimed at the educated adult market.
If you’ve seen All The President’s Men, Mark Felt (12)
might seem familiar. Subtitled The Man Who Brought Down The White House, it tells the story of Watergate from the perspective of its FBI source.
Played by Liam Neeson (above), the titular Mr Felt was the informant better known as ‘Deep Throat’. Neeson does a good job throughout Peter Landesman’s movie, which sticks with you thanks to Adam Kimmel’s murky photography and Daniel Pemberton’s moody score. But if you don’t know the ins and outs of Watergate, you’ll need to get up to speed – the script never does a good enough job of telling you who’s who and what they’re about. As for the subplot about Felt’s missing daughter, I’m sure it was important to him, but here it only complicates the story.
Egypt Station Capitol, out Fri
More than any other living soul, Paul McCartney has written songs that stand the test of time. But he wants you to hear his new stuff too. He wants it so badly that he’s willing to spend a whole day with James Corden.
Behind the bonhomie of McCartney’s Carpool Karaoke, it wasn’t hard to detect the deal: sure, I’ll go to Liverpool and do some Beatles songs, as long as you play my new single. And so Come On To Me has racked up 31million views on YouTube, as against 1.4 million for its lyric video. Even a living legend can do with a helping hand.
Sir Paul is 76 now. Will he still need us when he’s 84? On past form, he probably will. He loves writing songs and he longs to see them being loved by the public.
Egypt Station, his first album of new material for five years, could equally well be called Life In The Old Dog. Spanning 57 minutes and 16 tracks, it overflows with energy. Where Ed Sheeran wrote only one song by himself on his last album, and drafted in 21 co-authors, McCartney writes 15 alone and uses just the one co-author.
He plays the bass and the piano, as ever. And he pops up on acoustic and electric guitar, drums, bongos, harmonium, harmonica, harpsichord, synthesiser, tomtoms, Wurlitzer, ‘Brennel guitar tape loops’, triangle, congas, handclaps, foot stomps, ‘ankle bells’ and ‘bird recording’. He even painted the sleeve.
If all this sounds a bit oneman-band-ish, he also deploys his touring band, an orchestra, a choir and the Muscle Shoals Horns (take them on tour, Paul). And the songs, like the instruments, demonstrate his astonishing range. He dishes up rock, pop and folk, ditties and diatribes, lullabies and experiments, songs about sex and songs about Trump, songs that could have been sung 100 years ago and songs that could only have come along today. One track, Fuh You, is a co-write with Ryan Tedder, who co-wrote Beyonce’s Halo; the rest are co-produced by Greg Kurstin, who co-wrote Adele’s Hello.
The results are always stimulating but not always satisfying. McCartney, who once had sounding boards from heaven in John Lennon and George Martin, is no great editor of his own work. Back in the day, a few of these tracks would have been jettisoned, to bob up again as