Paul McCartney: how the King of Rock has stayed on top

Ciena Sakamoto, Staff Writer

It’s undeniable that Paul McCartney has reached icon status. From his major impact on music history to his influence on pop culture, Paul McCartney is on the Mount Rushmore of music and doesn’t need to lift a finger to stay there. He is in a position where he could live off of Beatles royalty and coast for the rest of his life on star status. Instead, at the age of 78, McCartney continues to evolve and regularly takes up projects with industry newcomers. 

McCartney has worked with every big name in music from Michael Jackson to Dave Grohl to Stevie Wonder. While McCartney has spent most of his career working in the genre of classic rock, he has used the latter half of his career to diversify sonically,  collaborating with artists such as Kanye West and Rihanna. McCartney’s newest project, McCartney III Imagined, is a clear reflection of his willingness to collaborate with faces fresh to the music scene. 

McCartney III Imagined is a cover album of McCartney’s 2020 album McCartney III, because only Paul McCartney could make a Paul McCartney cover album. Each song on the album is a remix of a track off of McCartney III featuring a different artist. There are 11 total tracks with 11 artists featured. McCartney assembled a music Avengers of sorts with names like St. Vincent, Anderson Paak, Phoebe Bridgers, Dominic Fike, and more. Each artist has their own unique style and brought something fresh to the album, and there is no common thread holding the group of artists together, aside from their obvious talent and lack of McCartney-level status. 

When announcing the project, McCartney made it clear that the group of artists was handpicked by himself, creating a diverse and eclectic interpretation of McCartney’s music. It is collaborations like these that secure McCartney’s legacy as a great artist, and cement him as one of the newest, coolest old artists. 

The album is a unique mix of styles and sounds due to the amalgamation of artists. The drastic change in style from track to track makes the album feel less cohesive sonically. Despite the lack of cohesion, every track is very well done as a result of McCartney’s legendary writing and the risks taken by the newer artists. Overall, while the album might not make the most sense in a traditional way, it makes for a fun project by combining an original music legend and new talent full of potential.