Clive Goddard; Clive Goddard; John Hammel; Jamie Kirkham; Eddie Klein; Keith Smith
Paul McCartney; Youth; Paul McCartney; Youth
Number of Discs
Album Notes and Credits
The Fireman: Paul McCartney (various instruments); Youth (guitar).
Personnel: David Nock, Tim Bran (programming).
Audio Mixer: Clive Goddard.
Audio Remasterer: Steve Rooke.
Recording information: Hog Hill Mill.
Author: Zane Lowe.
Photographer: Ruth Ward.
ELECTRIC ARGUMENTS is the third album that Paul McCartney and producer/former Killing Joke member Youth have made under the Fireman name, but it's drastically different than either of its predecessors. Where the first two Fireman albums were essentially instrumental ambient-house recordings (the first one began as a remix project for McCartney's OFF THE GROUND album) with the occasional psychedelic touch, most of ELECTRIC ARGUMENTS is relatively conventional pop/rock.
That said, the cut-and-paste lyrical approach, raw feel, and freewheeling musical structures of the tunes all hark back to early, anything-goes McCartney efforts such as WILD LIFE and McCARTNEY. There are a few cuts dominated by the ambient atmospheres of yore, but in the main, ELECTRIC ARGUMENTS is split between hard-hitting rock & roll and acoustic-based ballads, with McCartney front and center, and an exotic layer of electronic icing subtly gilding the surfaces of the songs. In any case, it's still probably the most unpredictable album the former Beatle has made since 1980's McCARTNEY II.
Rolling Stone (p.121) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "The set peaks with 'Travelling Light,' a magical mystery tour of reverbed chants, slide-guitar swoops, kalimbas and chimes. It's freak folk by a forefather."
Spin (p.104) - 3.5 stars out of 5 -- "ARGUMENTS follows its own fuzzy logic from swamp blooze to haunted folk to anthemic guitar pop."
Entertainment Weekly (p.70) - "[T]his one studs its chilled-out world-beat electronica with pretty psych-folk melodies, propulsive rock grooves, and McCartney's raw 'Helter Skelter'-ish vocals." -- Grade: B
Billboard (p.42) - "[I]t's the first Fireman album to include McCartney's vocals. And with his voice on 'Electric ARguments' comes a much more diverse, song-based, pop/rock-oriented approach..."
Mojo (Publisher) (p.111) - 3 stars out of 5 -- "[With] 'Lifelong Passion' and 'Don't Stop Running,' tracks that make the best of McCartney's crystalline vocals and co-producer Youth's way with texture and sound."
Record Collector (magazine) (p.101) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "'Two Magpies' is a mouth-watering slice of homegrown 'Honey Pie,' while 'Lifelong Passion' sounds like he's pulled over on George Harrison's 'Blue Jay Way.'"