Press to Play
Producer: George Martin
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Bruce Beatlefan (November 25, 2006)
For both of his late-1980\'s albums (Press to Play and Flowers in the Dirt), Paul McCartney has mostly abandoned the familiar melodic sound of his Beatles/Wings years and has immersed himself totally into 1980\'s music trends and sounds (with a few exceptions like \"Only Love Remains\" and \"Put it There\"). In each album he teams up with a songwriting/performing partner (the underrated Eric Stewart and the headliner Elvis Costello), and in each album it is clear that Paul is once again paying special attention to furnishing his songs with a strong lyrical message in the manner of \"Penny Lane\" or \"She\'s Leaving Home\" (after a decade of just sorta throwing out things like \'cattle beware of snipers\' and \'Magneto was mad, Titanium too!\'.
Now, Flowers in the Dirt is truly a McCartney masterpiece, chockful of superb songs, but Press to Play, although not quite up to that standard, is quite a terrific album and deserves a better place in the cosmic concensus which has unfairly bashed this collection.
Macca\'s 1980-esque sound probably painted him into a corner, as Beatle-aged McCartney fans (like myself) were mostly turned off by his turning to styles which were from the punk/new wave cesspool, while young rockers weaned on the Police and Frankie Goes to Hollywood undoubtedly looked at this album as an old fuddy-duddy trying to sound hip (rather like Bill Haley in the \'50\'s, Elvis in the \'60\'s, and the Rolling Stones every decade since). I must admit I wasn\'t exactly enthralled with Paul\'s \"new\" sound, but it didn\'t take me very many listenings to appreciate Paul\'s treatment of these sounds--with the bonus of the vastly improved lyrics.
\"Stranglehold\" is a perfect album-opener, a savage rocker which reminds me a little of the Beatles \"Hey Bulldog\". \"Good Times Coming\" is a sound reminding me of the Family DeBarge or Miami Sound Machine. \"Press\" was the hit, albeit a minor one, that brings to mind some of Hall & Oates\' music, \"Pretty Little Head\" sounds like a cross between Phil Collins\' \"Edge of Town\" and FGTH\'s \"Relax\". It\'s fun to play this game with all the songs, but my knowledge of 1980\'s music isn\'t really up to speed. But here\'s one old-guy Beatles fan who really appreciates the creativity and experimentation (not to mention the just plain good songs) in Press to Play. And man is that one cool album-cover!
John (July 14, 2005)
For some strange reason, I have always liked this album. I think it's because it is so different from anything that McCartney usually does.
Strange subject matter on some songs; Talk More Talk, Pretty Little Head. These songs also have strange sounds that a McCartney fan is just not to used to hearing.
You also get some typical catchy McCartney songs like Press and Stranglehold.
There is also the ever present McCartney ballads like Only Love Remains and Footprints. Very nice.
How could I forget the rockers like Angry and Move Over Busker? Paul trying his best to rock the house.
This CD is a potpourri of McCartney. You get a little of everything which makes it an interesting listen.
If you know this album you can review it.
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