When I first heard McCartney II, I was in junior high and had been turned on to "Coming Up" after seeing Paul perform live in concert. The studio version of "Coming Up" took me completely by surprise. The mood was much different than the live version, more like pure unguarded fun.
The entire album is pure unguarded fun. It is the sound of Paul McCartney unwinding in the studio and just doing what comes naturally. The sound of the recordings take some getting used to, but once the shock wears off, you may find yourself in a truly enjoyable sound-world, where cold-sounding synths provide neat little proto-ambient-techno textures. It may be difficult to imagine or even accept Paul McCartney playing music that hasmore in common with Joy Division and Suicide than the Beatles, but make no mistake, it all sounds natural, unforced, and infinitely more FUN than anything Joy Division or Suicide ever did. Not that I am slagging them -- both are/were great, just more 'serious' than someone like Paul McCartney, who prefers to keep matters light.
So obviously, this album will not appeal to everyone. However, if you have an open ear and enjoy a little adventure, McCartney II just might be your cup of tea. As you can tell, it's one of my favorites by Sir Paul, right up there with Ram and Band on the Run.