Label: Hear Music
Released: November 17, 2009
In this decade, Paul McCartney has released as many live albums as he has studio albums. Even packaged with a DVD, Good Evening New York City, his third live release since 2002’s Back in the US, begs the question, “Why another live album?” It doesn’t take the album long to answer though.
Despite McCartney’s late-career studio renaissance, his live albums have remained lackluster. Good Evening New York City finally rights that wrong with a live document as fresh as his recent material and as new as the venue itself (this was Citi Field’s first concert). The set is very Beatles-heavy (nearly two-thirds of the material comes from the Fab Four days), but also includes a fair helping of recent material (including “Sing the Changes” from his Fireman side-project). What’s happily missing is the saccharine sap that made up much of Macca’s career from the mid-70s through the late 80s. You got it, no “Silly Love Songs,” no “Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey,” no “Coming Up.” (Okay, “My Love” made the cut, but nothing’s perfect, right?) Though the Beatles’ classics need no overhaul, McCartney re-energizes them with fresh arrangements and youthful enthusiasm. That makes all the difference being playing old songs and playing songs like an old man. McCartney chooses the former and all these years later, both he and the songs can still get me excited. Fantastic!
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