If you still think Paul McCartney is only about silly love songs, think again.

If you still think Paul McCartney is only about silly love songs, think again. On the moody, experimental Driving Rain, McCartney wanders into darker territory that may surprise anyone expecting just melodious pleasantries. Much of Driving Rain expresses themes of grief and isolation; the set even seems to be a defiant statement in which McCartney is out to prove again that there is more to him than just catchy pop tunes. Nowhere is this more exemplified than on "Rinse the Raindrops," an epic number that clocks in at more than 10 minutes and radically changes musical direction within that span. "Freedom" (McCartney's charity single for victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks) concludes the album with a burst of hope. This set may not satisfy every fan, but it should please those who have hoped that McCartney would branch out from a safe sound. Driving Rain proves that where there is risk, there can be reward.—CH

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