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The Fireman Electric Arguments [album]

The Fireman: Electric ArgumentsThe Fireman — aka Paul McCartney
  and Youth
sets the music scene
  alight with the stunning Electric

YOU CAN'T KEEP A GOOD MAN DOWN and, in yet another incarnation, former Beatle Paul McCartney is once again doing what comes naturally to him producing beautiful music.

This time it is in the guise of The Fireman and it was back in 1993 that the until then mysterious duo was exposed by the press as none other than the respected Paul McCartney and the talented Youth. A brand new studio album, Electric Arguments — the duo's third — was released in November (2008) after a ten-year break, and The Fireman has at last found his voice because Electric Arguments is the first release to feature vocals.

This very different album is an eclectic and varied collection consisting of thirteen tracks recorded in thirteen days over a period of almost a year. Each track was written and recorded in one day and, surprisingly, The Fireman went into the studio with no plan or a clear idea of how they wanted the album to sound. Interestingly, the project has taken on a creative life of its own and marks the introduction of a new sound to The Fireman.

In a rare interview around the release of the last album, Rushes, in 1998, Paul and Youth spoke of their music, saying: "ambient dreams in rainbow arches describe the circles of The Fireman". Five years before, in 1993, the first album, Strawberries Oceans Ships Forest was released — a solid, ambient dance album heavy on electronics.

The now sadly defunct music bible Melody Maker heaped praise on the project: "Paul McCartney has discovered dance music — the results are staggeringly brilliant. [The Fireman] take a melody and, with dexterous genre-hopping through ambient, trance and house, evolve a number of breathtaking variations".

Last year The Fireman returned to start work on what would become Electric Arguments. The results may be entirely different this time, but the enigmatic Electric Arguments will bowl you over with its clever mix of rock, retro and the best of great British sounds from the two fine musicians known as The Fireman.

Earlier this year The Fireman donated a new and beautifully constructed track from Electric Arguments Lifelong Passion — to the charity Adopt-A-Minefield. This lovely new track marked a directional change for The Fireman and there is a subtle Oriental influence at work.

Lifelong Passion showcased a new, more traditional, song-based sound with vocals; going against the sound of the first two albums. And so the speculation began. A 'studio source' was quoted in The Times as describing this new sound "like Arcade Fire meets Led Zeppelin". So what have The Fireman been up to and what is the album like?

As you would expect, Electric Arguments is quite exceptional. The album's opener Nothing Too Much Just Out Of Sight is uplifting classic rock and immediately grabs your attention. A heavy guitar riff with a crescendo of drums and sourcing vocals, it's like nothing The Fireman has ever done before and is a worthy venture into the world of great rock.

The second track, the acoustic driven Two Magpies immediately takes you in a different direction, calming things right down and sounding very retro. The euphoric, upbeat Sing The Changes comes next and has an instantly memorable melody that keeps your body moving and your mind racing. We also detected an Oriental influence on this track and this is due to be released as a single.

The fabulous Travelling Light is enchanting and haunting with its musical brilliance — it sends shivers down your spine! Electric Arguments keeps the listener intrigued; wondering where The Fireman will take them next. Each album track has an entirely different personality, yet somehow this collection fits together perfectly.

Other standout tracks include Light From Your Lighthouse, Sun Is Shining, and Dance 'Til We're High, all in keeping with the genre-hopping spirit of the first two albums from The Fireman. Highway sounds like the very best of Paul McCartney and the terrific Light From Your Lighthouse is yet another unforgettable track.

We also have to particularly mention that Dance 'Til We're High makes you want to do just that and has great melodies. This inspired and anthemic track has been likened in sound to the ever-visionary Arcade Fire. Described by the press as "richly layered", this is a track that sees Paul full of evocative creative optimism — a disposition that follows throughout the album and one that seems to suit Paul McCartney well. Dance 'Til We're High will be released as a single on 5 January (2009) and cannot fail to attract much welcome attention.

Is This Love? is a magical musical composition that includes the most relaxing and gentle music and soothing vocals. Universal Here, Everlasting Now also has some very pleasant and relaxing music and the final track, Don't Stop Running, is unique, catchy and good to listen to.

Electric Arguments
demonstrates that Paul McCartney is still interested in pure musical possibilities — this is an album designed to both surprise and delight the listener. Made with no record company restraints or a set release date to work to, Electric Arguments benefits from complete artistic and creative freedom.

Electric Arguments by The Fireman, released by MPL on 24 November (2008), is manufactured and distributed by One Little Indian Ltd. (An exclusive bonus track is on the iTunes version). The album is Produced by Paul McCartney and Youth and all tracks are written by Paul McCartney.

Sing The Changes is available now as a download single on all major download stores.

Dance 'Til We're High will be released as a single from the album on 5 January (2009) on MPL and manufactured and distributed by One Little Indian Ltd.


1 Nothing Too Much Just Out Of Sight | 2 Two Magpies | 3 Sing The Changes |
4 Travelling Light | 5 Highway | 6 Light From Your Lighthouse | 7 Sun Is Shining |
8 Dance 'Til We're High | 9 Lifelong Passion | 10 Is This Love? | 11 Lovers In A Dream |
12 Universal Here, Everlasting Now | 13 Don't Stop Running

"…the enigmatic Electric Arguments will bowl you over with its clever mix of rock, retro and the best of great British sounds from two fine musicians known as The Fireman" — Maggie Woods, MotorBar

" enlightening and adventurous joy that could be the best thing he's done in years" — Simon Harper,

"There's no songs on the first two Fireman albums; it's just trance stuff, and basically each track is one chord. On [Electric Arguments], I started saying maybe we should go for another chord somewhere and, whoah, it just exploded. Some of the songs even have four chords!" — Paul McCartney

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