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Author Topic: Chaos and Creation in the Backyard  (Read 761 times)

Keri

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Chaos and Creation in the Backyard
« on: April 13, 2013, 08:08:20 PM »

I like this album, it doesn't jump out at you, but it drew me in.

I was really intrigued by the title "Chaos & Creation" sounds huge, cosmic, mind boggling "in the Backyard" sounds homely, down to earth & casual, does Paul's art combine the two, maybe. Paul is an amazingly huge figure in popular entertainment, a key element in the Beatles a very successful solo career, yet a lot of his work feels very familiar and close to us, he feels kind of like a friend rather than someone on a pedestal.

So even before I put the album on I was intrigued and then this is another of those Paul albums where he plays nearly everything himself and it is pretty inventive with it.

I think upon first listen not everything gelled for me, yet I couldn't help playing it again and again. A lot of the lyrics seemed kind of vague, "chaotic" perhaps, there were odd experiments going on i.e. the loops on "How kind of you" the opener "Fine Line" was really attractive with it's mesmerising piano pounding.

I have come to really love "English Tea" I love it when Paul does deliberately English stuff, I'm also a huge fan of the song "London Town". I will say I don't think this has got the great songs that Flaming Pie has, or is as instantly appealing as Paul's subsequent album "Memory almost Full" but it does have a strong album feel to it and I like listening to the whole album through. It is now sometime since I had those first intrigued listens and i haven't listened to it a lot since then, but i put it on to listen to it again before writing this review and I found the songs had now sunk into me, they are part of life and part of my appreciation of Paul's art.

In conclusion this is an album, I'm glad Paul made, I still find it ambiguous, I'm not sure Paul knew what he was trying to express but I do feel that he had some compulsion to express it and I like the ambiguity now. Yes there is chaos and creativity here and it feels homely and personal to me. To draw on a later song of Paul's I feel "Gratitude".
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Re: Chaos and Creation in the Backyard
« Reply #1 on: April 14, 2013, 08:26:48 PM »

Really good album....that I never listen to....what does that mean?  :P ???
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kylenz

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Re: Chaos and Creation in the Backyard
« Reply #2 on: May 18, 2013, 03:23:58 AM »

Really good album....that I never listen to....what does that mean?  :P ???

Same. I haven't listened to it for ages, but I do think it is a really good album. There are some tracks on here that belong right up there with Paul's best.

My favourite track on the album is one that many tend to dismiss - 'At The Mercy'. Love that song. Would've loved to have heard a live version of that song. Would've preferred the fireworks going off in the climax of that song, rather than 'Live and Let Die' for the umpteenth time.
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Mervap

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Re: Chaos and Creation in the Backyard
« Reply #3 on: June 06, 2015, 05:54:03 PM »

I am re-listening to this one after a long gap.....review to come. :-)
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If love is blind, how will it ever find a way?

kylenz

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Re: Chaos and Creation in the Backyard
« Reply #4 on: June 07, 2015, 04:04:20 AM »

I am re-listening to this one after a long gap.....review to come. :-)
Look forward to that! I do think this is a better album than 'Memory Almost Full', but it will be interesting to read your perspective on it.
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Mervap

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Re: Chaos and Creation in the Backyard
« Reply #5 on: June 07, 2015, 11:46:54 AM »

I am beginning to think that some albums have to be heard at the proper time by a particular listener. At the time of issue, I recall thinking how 'quiet' this album was. When "Memory Almost Full" came out after, I felt it was a better selection of songs, although I thought the production was too 'loud', a sentiment I have felt about each of his subsequent albums. Now, 10 years later, I very much think "Chaos" is a better album.....bringing in Nigel Godrich and handing over the production to him was gutsy, and it pays off beautifully. Some of the more experimental bits, like the loops and such, are done tastefully.....so much so that they don't feel jarring, as they did on "Driving Rain" or Macca's Fireman albums. That's not to say I don't like those things, just that here it's very smooth and integrated.

The mood on this album has been described as intimate and I think that's apt.....and there seem to be more glimpses into Macca's actual life. I can't listen to "Riding To Vanity Fair" without thinking of Paul's relationship with his then-wife Heather, which we now know was not always pleasant.

The CD seems to run out of steam towards the end, though, and "Anyway" is a pretty blatant lift of "People Get Ready".

More later....
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Mervap

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Re: Chaos and Creation in the Backyard
« Reply #6 on: June 07, 2015, 07:12:18 PM »

Thoughts on individual tracks:
I'd agree with Kyle on "At the Mercy"; it's a standout for me as well. "Jenny Wren" is the kind of thing Paul can write in his sleep, but the results are always great. I quite like "Friends To Go", though I would have liked to hear the drums double-time near the end. "English Tea" is a near-perfect bit of pastiche.....loved the penny whistle. "Promise To You Girl" is a fine rocker with some neat harmonies.

Overall, I tend to like Macca's albums where he plays most of the instruments. Maybe one gets the most undiluted McCartney that way. I dunno. This album sounds so much better to me NOW than it did a decade ago.
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Re: Chaos and Creation in the Backyard
« Reply #7 on: June 07, 2015, 07:56:12 PM »

Chaos is a really good album, but an odd collection. All the stand alone songs are fine..but there is a battle between the love songs. I guess he wrote some of the tunes when he was head in the clouds in love with Heather and then others when it was going sour. It's probably just me, but I hear some Elvis Costello in this album. I'm not saying he had anything to do with it, just that a few of the songs sound like something Costello would write.

My only skipper is Too Much Rain.
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kylenz

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Re: Chaos and Creation in the Backyard
« Reply #8 on: June 08, 2015, 03:47:25 AM »

I love Too Much Rain!
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Re: Chaos and Creation in the Backyard
« Reply #9 on: June 08, 2015, 11:11:03 AM »

oops! :-X
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Keri

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Re: Chaos and Creation in the Backyard
« Reply #10 on: June 18, 2015, 03:48:16 AM »

I don't know if I've listened to this since i wrote my original review. I don't find this as compelling to listen to as some of Macca's albums but I do know if I've got the time I can put it on and it'll take me to a good place. I love "English Tea" but I don't drink it. Too much Rain is nice too.
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