Listen to Tiny Bubble and groove on the funk. Some people have said this tune sounds like Paul doing George Harrison. Given that George's best songs were full of soul that comparison may not be far off.
The band absolutely smokes on this CD. Full of motown grooves, even a bit of faux rap (Spinning on an Axis) this is easily McCartneys best CD since Tug of War. Pauls last three albums have seen him taking back his crown (Flowers In The Dirt - Flaming Pie - Run Devil Run, even Fireman and Rushes are pretty cool) Pauls voice and writing abilities have been rediscovering themselves.
Some of the vocalizations have Paul almost snarling out the lyrics or employing the little hiccups that Elvis made such good use of. I haven't heard Paul sound this good since... what? Oh Darling? Wanderlust? I Saw Her Standing There? Maybe there's no good comparison. Lets just say he sounds fantastic.
Listen to any of these three: Magic, Loving Flame, Back In The Sunshine Again and tell me that these arent' great songs.
The title track, Driving Rain, is a fun song with a solid rock feel and a good bounce to it. I can't help but sing everytime it comes on. This is a CD to play over and over.
A bit uneven? Maybe but thats what CD writers are for. Rip it and burn your favs.
Overall rating: if you're a Beatle or McCartney fan this CD is a must have.
Top-three highlights are: "Lonely road", his first song after Linda's death. Very strong melodic song on which McCartney screams his heart out. Song with atmosphere and soul. The experimental "Rinse the raindrops" is a song in which melody and lyrics are repeatedly performed in different tempers/moods: in this 10-minute jam McCartney vividly plays the bass and shows that his voice can still be magic. He should do such stuff more often! "She's given up talking" is a nice melody ingeniously performed; it is really a pity the lyrics spoil part of the fun...
The album shows a nice mix of styles, varying from India-inspired "Riding into Jaipur" to the catchy "From a lover to a friend" to upbeat "About you" to rocking "Rinse the Raindrops". All very different, all very good. On the other hand, there are some mediocre songs notably "Driving rain", "Your way" and "Spinning on the axis" that make the album too long. I think that some tracks would sound better if the band would have spent playing more time together before recording.
Although I was not opposed to the invasion into Afghanistan, I really do not understand the inappropriate "Freedom", a simple anthem with barrel-beating and lyrics like "fight for the right to freedom". I can imagine this song means something to some people from New York (and USA) just after 9/11, but it is the opposite of the intelligent humanist(anti-landmines, pro animal rights and rain forests etc.) McCartney always has been striving to be. Idem Eric Clapton who is playing guitar on the track.
NOTE: The inferior "Freedom" is an unfortunate inclusion, not to be found on the original release. It doesn't match the rest of the material here and spoils the album's effect.