Electric Arguments

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Electric Arguments
Electric Arguments.jpg
Studio album by
Released24 November 2008
GenreExperimental pop[1][2]
LabelOne Little Indian, ATO (US)
ProducerThe Fireman
The Fireman chronology
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Electric Arguments
Paul McCartney chronology
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Electric Arguments
Good Evening New York City

Electric Arguments is the third album by the Fireman, an experimental music duo consisting of Paul McCartney and producer Youth. The album was first announced 29 September 2008, on Paul McCartney's website, and was released on 24 November 2008 on the duo's website.[3] It is the first Fireman release to be publicly acknowledged by McCartney, and the album cover features the names of both contributors in contrast to the anonymity of earlier works.

Background and recording[edit]

Unlike the earlier Fireman albums, Electric Arguments features prominent vocals. Each of the songs was recorded in one day, the album itself being completed in only 13 days, spread over the course of a year.[3] The album includes the hidden track "Road Trip", at the end of "Don't Stop Running".[4] Remixes of "Lifelong Passion" were made, titled "Sawain Ambient Acapella" and "Sawain Instrumental Dub".[4] Instrumental mixes of "Sun Is Shining" and "Traveling Light" were made, titled "Equinox Instrumental" and "Travelling Light Instrumental", respectively.[4] Instrumental dub mixes were made of "Sing the Changes" and "Don't Stop Running", titled "Morning Mist Instrumental Dub" and "Wickerman Ambient Dub", respectively.[4]

The duo borrowed the title "Electric Arguments" from the poem "Kansas City to St. Louis" by Allen Ginsberg. In Wired magazine, McCartney stated this was because "he's been looking at the beauty of word combinations rather than their meaning."[5] He said, "We had a ball making this album, and it was a great departure because it seemed more like improv theatre. In the improv spirit, there are William Burroughs-type cut-ups in the lyrics. I came to "Sing the Changes," as well as all the other songs in the album, with absolutely no concept of what the melody or lyrics would be about. So it was like writing on the spot, which I think lent an electricity to the whole sound."[6]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic4.5/5 stars[7]
The A.V. ClubB–[8]
CHARTattack4.5/5 stars[9]
The Guardian1/5 stars[10]
Los Angeles Times3/4 stars[11]
Mojo3/5 stars[12]
The Observer4/5 stars[13]
Pitchfork Media7.3/10[15]
Rolling Stone4/5 stars[16]
Spin3.5/5 stars[17]
Uncut4/5 stars[18]

Electric Arguments debuted at number 79 on the UK Album Charts, marking the first appearance for the Fireman in the British charts. The duo also made their inaugural appearance on the Billboard 200, peaking at number 67.

According to reviews aggregator Metacritic, the album rated 74 out of 100, indicating a "generally favourable" critical reception, based on 23 reviews (18 of which were positive, four mixed, and one negative).[19] AllMusic's Stephen Thomas Erlewine wrote that "There are more twists and turns, more textures, than on any other McCartney album in the last 20 years …"[7] Will Hermes of Rolling Stone called the album "the ex-Beatle's headiest music in years".[16] In a four-star review for The Times, Pete Paphides wrote that "Electric Arguments is delivered with a disregard for production values or playlist potential that would make, say, Keane or the Kooks blush at their own conservatism".[20]

Less impressed, Alex Macpherson of The Guardian described the album as "heavily laboured hackwork". He said of the track "Nothing Too Much Just Out of Sight": "This has been pegged by the more excitable tabloids as a hate rant against [McCartney's ex-wife] Heather Mills, but if this is what she has had to put up with, it may just have done the unthinkable and engendered sympathy for the poor woman."[10] Ron Hart of PopMatters rated Electric Arguments 7 out of 10 and considered that the project's appeal "depends on where you stand as a Macca fan", following the singer's run of strong studio albums since Driving Rain in 2001. After opining that these nominal McCartney albums were "much stronger releases on almost every level", Hart concluded: "Electric Arguments does harbor its own unique charm that will certainly appeal to longtime fans [more] than Macca's previous pair of Fireman jaunts."[21]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written by Paul McCartney.

Electric Arguments – Standard Edition
1."Nothing Too Much Just Out of Sight"4:55
2."Two Magpies"2:12
3."Sing the Changes"3:44
4."Travelling Light"5:06
6."Light from Your Lighthouse"2:31
7."Sun Is Shining"5:12
8."Dance 'Til We're High"3:37
9."Lifelong Passion"4:49
10."Is This Love?"5:52
11."Lovers in a Dream"5:22
12."Universal Here, Everlasting Now"5:05
13."Don't Stop Running" (Includes hidden track, "Road Trip", starting at 7:57)10:31
Total length:63:05
Electric Arguments – iTunes bonus track edition
14."Sawain Ambient Acapella"4:53
Total length:67:58
  • An edited version of "Nothing Too Much Out of Sight" premiered on BBC Radio 1 on 29 September 2008.[22]
  • "Lifelong Passion" was available briefly as a charity download for Adopt-A-Minefield.[23]



Electric Arguments has been reissued in several packages:[24]

  • Digital Only download; the original 13-track album as a download
  • CD and digital 1 CD and download; the original 13-track album as a CD and download
  • Vinyl, CD and digital 2 LPs, 1 CD and download; the original 13-track album as an LP, CD and download
  • Deluxe edition (2009) 2 LPs, 2 CDs, 2 DVDs and download; a tin box set containing: the original 13-track album as an LP, CD and download. 7-track CD containing bonus mixes and alternate versions, DVD of hi-definition audio recordings, DVD of multi-track session files, 2 exclusive art prints, and extensive booklet
Disc 1 – The original album

The original 13-track album.

Disc 2 – bonus tracks

The 7-track bonus disc.

All tracks are written by Paul McCartney.

1."Solstice Ambient Acapella"15:11
2."Travelling Light Instrumental"8:16
3."Wickerman Ambient Dub"12:41
4."Morning Mist Instrumental Dub"5:40
5."Equinox Instrumental"8:22
6."Sawain Ambient Acapella" (A remix of Lifelong Passion, minus drums and bass)4:51
7."Sawain Instrumental Dub"4:51
Disc 3 – DVD - Hi-definition audio recordings

The music videos and making-of the album.

1."Sing the Changes" (music video)3:52
2."Dance 'til We're High" (music video)3:40
3."In the Studio" (making-of the album)12:41
Disc 4 – DVD - Multi-track session files

Multi-track session files.

All tracks are written by Paul McCartney.

1."Dance 'til We're High" 
3."Light from Your Lighthouse" 
4."Sing the Changes" 
5."Sun Is Shining" 



  1. ^ https://somethingelsereviews.com/2018/11/24/paul-mccartney-fireman-electric-arguments/
  2. ^ https://www.popmatters.com/66674-the-fireman-electric-arguments-2496096089.html
  3. ^ a b "The Fireman Finds Voice With Brand New Album". Paul McCartney.com. 29 September 2008. Archived from the original on 2 December 2008. Retrieved 25 November 2008.
  4. ^ a b c d "The McCartney Recording Sessions – 2008". Archived from the original on 26 April 2014. Retrieved 6 April 2013.
  5. ^ Buskirk, Eliot Van (18 November 2008). "Video: Paul McCartney and Youth Talk 'The Fireman'". Wired. Retrieved 18 November 2008.
  6. ^ Cott, Jonathon (22 January 2009). "Paul McCartney Q&A: Behind the Fireman's New Psych-Pop Gem". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 3 May 2009.
  7. ^ a b Stephen Thomas Erlewine. "Electric Arguments > Review". AllMusic. Retrieved 9 September 2009.
  8. ^ Keith Phipps (17 December 2008). "The Fireman Electric Arguments". The A.V. Club. Archived from the original on December 20, 2008. Retrieved 22 December 2014.
  9. ^ Sheena Lyonnais (12 December 2008). "The Fireman – Electric Arguments". CHARTattack. Archived from the original on 25 September 2009. Retrieved 9 September 2009.
  10. ^ a b Alex Macpherson (9 November 2008). "The Fireman: Electric Arguments". The Guardian. Retrieved 9 September 2011.
  11. ^ Randy Lewis (24 November 2008). "Album review: The Fireman's 'Electric Arguments'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 9 September 2009.
  12. ^ "The Fireman Electric Arguments". Mojo. December 2008. p. 111. Missing or empty |url= (help)
  13. ^ Neil Spencer (9 November 2008). "Pop review: The Fireman, Electric Arguments". The Observer. Retrieved 22 December 2014.
  14. ^ Brent Dey (12 December 2008). "The Fireman: Electric Arguments :: Music Reviews". Paste. Retrieved 9 September 2009.
  15. ^ Stuart Berman (24 November 2008). "Album Reviews: The Fireman: Electric Arguments". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved 10 July 2016.
  16. ^ a b Will Hermes (27 November 2008). "Electric Arguments : the fireman : Review". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 9 September 2009.
  17. ^ David Marchese (December 2008). "The Fireman Electric Arguments". Spin. p. 104. Retrieved 22 December 2014.
  18. ^ Peter Paphides (December 2008). "Album review: The Fireman – Electric Arguments". Archived from the original on 3 October 2009. Retrieved 9 September 2009.
  19. ^ "Critic Reviews for Electric Arguments". Metacritic. Retrieved 22 December 2014.
  20. ^ Pete Paphides (22 November 2008). "The Big CD: The Fireman – Electric Arguments". The Times. Retrieved 9 September 2009.
  21. ^ Ron Hart (8 December 2008). "The Fireman: Electric Arguments". PopMatters. Retrieved 22 December 2014.
  22. ^ "Hottest Record In The World Right Now – The Fireman". Paul McCartney.com. 30 September 2008. Archived from the original on 2008-12-02. Retrieved 2008-11-25.
  23. ^ "New McCartney Track For Adopt-A-Minefield". Paul McCartney.com. 4 June 2008. Archived from the original on 26 January 2013. Retrieved 24 February 2013.
  24. ^ "The Fireman Music | Electric Arguments produced by Paul McCartney & Youth". paulmccartney.com. Archived from the original on 24 March 2012. Retrieved 17 May 2012.

External links[edit]