Driving Rain

Paul McCartney

Capitol, 2001


REVIEW BY: Jeff Clutterbuck


Tragedy often inspires art in a variety of ways. The loss of a loved one in particular has influenced the creation of some of the greatest works known to man. It may sound crass, but the death of Linda McCartney, in my opinion, drove Paul McCartney to regain the creative spark that had left him for the majority of the last three decades.

Driving Rainmy_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 represents the culmination of the McCartney renaissance trilogy that began in 1997 with Flaming Pie and continued with the covers album Run Devil Run. Of the three, Driving Rain is easily the most unique and challenging.

Comparing it to any other Macca album is a difficult task; as I thought about it, the more I realized that Driving Rain has no peer among the albums that came before it. While it would be crazy to label this as art-rock or progressive, it represents a more open mind from Paul. Driving Rain is not London Town, that much I can tell you.

The catchy hooks and refrains that usually populate a McCartney record do not makes themselves immediately know on Driving Rain; only after multiple listens can a listener begin to appreciate what McCartney was trying to do. That fact alone makes the album worth listening to.

This all being said, a Paul album without filler is like a Jewish Pope. Driving Rain is no exception since the momentum sags at various points. For example “Rinse the Raindrops” entertains for the first few minutes, but becomes more and more tedious to get through. In fact, the back nine of Driving Rain could have been left off, and I doubt anyone would have missed it.

Some of the highlights include the opening track “Lonely Road,” which really sets the tone for what is to follow. McCartney’s bass playing really shines throughout the entire album, but is particularly excellent on “Heather” and “I Do.” A Les Claypool he is not, but his playing has always been underrated, looked at second after his songwriting skills.

I suspect many McCartney fans played this disc once then proceeded to completely forget about it with Chaos and Creation In The Backyard. That’s a shame, because Driving Rain more than holds it own against the bulk of McCartney’s catalog.

Rating: B

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



© 2007 Jeff Clutterbuck and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Capitol, and is used for informational purposes only.