After a series of rather forgettable solo attempts, "Driving Rain" delivers McCartney his redemption.
It's difficult classifying the man, because he's harnessed varying sounds (not that diverse either) into most of these numbers. It wouldn't be such a good idea to boast about his lyrical prowess (he's written all, but two songs here), judging from the banal wordplay in the title track "Driving Rain", which sounds more like a meager attempt at rhyme than a shot at some serious music!
Hitting it off with a decently melancholic "Lonely Road", he moves on to the very Beatle-esque "From A Lover To A Friend". But that's when the tempo gathers speed and acquires a more rocky/pop essence. Spinning On An Axis" and "Back In The Sunshine Again" have a very sly, smoky undercurrent that makes these about the best on the record. Then again, these were co-written by his son, James McCartney, who also worked on percussion and guitar for the two cuts. "Riding Into Jaipur" would have probably turned out classier, had the man not attempted a very Harrison edge; even the snazzy Indian instrumental play does not save this one, which dies the minute you hear the absurd stanza that makes up the song. "Rinse The Raindrops" is one of the album's saving graces, with a very cool, uptempo rhythm.
On the whole, giving this legend his dues, "Driving Rain" has managed to drum up a fairly agreeable tempo, though laid on a very ballady base!!This article was first published on 10 Dec 2001.