Paul McCartney's first album of self-composed material since the tragic loss of his wife and soul mate Linda, Driving Rain
is the sound of pop's most indefatigable optimist coming to terms with his bereavement, picking up the pieces and moving on. Thus, there's a determined rasp to McCartney's vocal delivery on the opening rocker "Lonely Road", which begins with a resigned "I tried to get over you" and moves purposefully forward with an insistent chorus of "Don't want to walk that lonely road no more". Further down the line, the title of "Back In The Sunshine Again", a languorous groover and one of two songs co-penned with son James, speaks for itself--"No more worries, no more pain... that's the way it's going to be for the rest of my life", he sings. McCartney's new amour is nodded to on the predominantly instrumental "Heather" (something about shacking up on the moon with the Queen of his heart, that's love for you!) whilst the bittersweet, pining "From A Lover To A Friend" is one of the prettiest ballads the man has written this side of the Beatles. And yes, even George Harrison
's tandoori-flavoured retro-pop is evident on the tablas and sitars of "Riding To Jaipur". McCartney lets himself go and stretches his legs on the 10-minute ELO
fuzzed-up mish-mash that is "Rinse The Raindrops", but it's well worth taking that walk with him. Evidently, McCartney is enjoying a new lease of life in both his private and professional life. Good on him. --Kevin Maidment
Regular Japanese issue of McCartney's 2001 hit album.