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Paul McCartney

'Chaos' Theory

PaulPaul McCartney is nearing the age 64 milestone he previously immortalized in a Beatles song, but his focus remains on making music. On the new "Chaos and Creation in the Back Yard," producer Nigel Godrich helped McCartney create his most rounded and assured piece of work in many years.

For the project, the artist resumed the role of multi-instrumentalist that distinguished "McCartney," his first post-Beatles project -- released precisely 35 years ago in 1970 -- and the "McCartney II" set exactly a decade later.

Although the first single, "Fine Line," is a rollicking slice of piano pop in the vein of the Beatles' "Lady Madonna," the majority of the new album is an introspective affair. Says the artist: "I would bring something to Nigel, thinking, 'This would be OK,' and he'd say, 'I don't really like it,' I'd say, 'Fair enough, then we won't work on it,' and I'd pull the next one out of the bag, and he'd say, 'I love that one, let's do that.'"

"It did mean we didn't have a conscious policy about it being a rock album or this or that," McCartney continues. "It'd be a 'whatever it was' album. So you've got a few rockers, a few others reasonably uptempo, and it has meant a lot of the tracks we liked were quite introspective."

"The good thing was I came right up against Nigel's style and he came right up against mine, and we met somewhere in the middle, and I think we both learned something from it," McCartney says of the project. The artist will begin a fresh round of North American touring Sept. 16 in Miami.