Paul McCartney and Freelance Hellraiser

The unforgiving and unsentimental damn him as the Dim Beatle, the Dull Beatle, the Dung Beatle; he's no John or George, after all, magical, mythical martyrs who always appeared to be sharpening the edge Paul dulled at every turn. Of course, such scorn is occasionally warranted; for every "Maybe I'm Amazed" or "Junk," there were entire albums' worth of dross to be dismissed (Red Rose Speedway, Press to Play, Pipes of Peace...endless list, really). Most likely Chaos and Creation in the Backyard received critical adoration not because it's great--at its best, it sounds like a guy who used to be in the Beatles trying to convince the listener little time has actually passed--but because it's not fookin' awful.

So what, then, to make of this mash-up monster, released on vinyl in the U.K. over the summer but still a downloadable mystery in the U.S.? At first it plays like a dance-floor lark--Macca given a glam makeover and nudged into the 21st century by the DJ Freelance Hellraiser, who was given the keys to the vault and permission to run amok after Sir Paul heard his Strokes-Xtina jam. But it's seriously profound shit only masquerading as quaint old-fart novelty, this pre-concert intro-music filler stretched to fill two vinyl slabs: "Morse Moose And The Grey Goose" from stinker London Town used to prop up the skinny-tie "Coming Up"; "Live and Let Die" sliced and diced till it's bloody unrecognizable; "Really Love You" turned inside-upside-outside-down; "Rinse the Raindrops" punked with and funked with till it finally shakes its narrow ass; "Temporary Secretary" taken out to an after-work drink and after-hours rave; "Maybe I'm Amazed" left intact till the end, when it breaks into the sweat McCartney usually has someone else wipe from his brow.


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