Egypt Station is the 17th solo studio album by Paul McCartney. It was released by Capitol Records on September 7, 2018.
Egypt Station was produced by Greg Kurstin and co-produced by McCartney, with the exception of one track produced by Ryan Tedder. The album is McCartney's first studio release since 2013's New. The album's first (double A-side) single, consisting of the two songs "I Don't Know" and "Come On to Me", was released on June 20, 2018.
The name "Egypt Station" is shared by one of McCartney's paintings from 1988, from which the cover art is derived. It became his first No. 1 album in the United States since 1982's Tug of War and his first to debut atop the Billboard 200.
Egypt Station was recorded in studios in Los Angeles, London, and Sussex. McCartney began working with producer Greg Kurstin some time after the release of his 2013 album New and mentioned their working together several times leading up to the June 20, 2018 announcement of Egypt Station's release.
McCartney also recorded three songs with Ryan Tedder. Two of the songs, "Fuh You" and "Nothing for Free", were released on the album.
The song "Back in Brazil" was recorded at KLB Studios in the city of São Paulo.
Egypt Station contains 16 tracks, including opening and penultimate instrumentals entitled "Opening Station" and "Station II", respectively. Tracks include the singles "I Don't Know" and "Come On to Me". "Happy with You" is described as "acoustic meditation on present day contentedness," "People Want Peace," called a "timeless anthem that would fit on virtually any album of any McCartney era," and "an epic multi-movement closer" called "Despite Repeated Warnings."
On the inspiration for the album's title and theme, McCartney said:
"I liked the words 'Egypt Station.' It reminded me of the 'album' albums we used to make... 'Egypt Station' starts off at the station on the first song, and then each song is like a different station. So it gave us some idea to base all the songs around that. I think of it as a dream location that the music emanates from."
In the promotional event "Casual Conversation," McCartney further clarified his creative process behind recording Egypt Station and described it as a concept album.
AllMusic 3.5/5 stars
The Guardian 4/5 stars
NME 4/5 stars
The Observer 4/5 stars
Rolling Stone 4/5 stars
Slant Magazine 2.5/5 stars
Egypt Station has been well-received by music critics. On Metacritic, the album has an overall score of 74 out of 100 compiled from the scores of 25 music critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".
In the review for AllMusic, Stephen Thomas Erlewine opined that "all the slower songs are peppered with haunting images of darkness creeping at the edges, while McCartney revives the carnality that marked "Press" – not just on the straight-forward "Fuh You," but "Come on to Me," a considerably better song than the Tedder exercise. Such twists are welcome, but what's satisfying about "Egypt Station" is what's always satisfying about a McCartney record: the hooks and imagination that are so rampant they seem effortless." Dan Stubbs from NME gave the album 4 out of 5 stars, saying, "McCartney’s always been about inclusivity and openness, but this latest glimpse into his life feels like a particularly enlightening one." Reviewing the album for The Observer, Kitty Empire also gave the album 4 out of 5 stars. In the review she states that "the finest songs here land immediately and hum with urgency."
Writing a four star review in Rolling Stone, Rob Sheffield claimed, "Make a list of all the songwriters who were composing great tunes in 1958. Now make an overlapping list of the ones who are still writing brilliant songs in 2018. Your list reads: Paul McCartney." Chris Willman at Variety stated, "If it doesn't make for McCartney's most coherent collection, it's endearing how enthusiastically he strives, at 76, to avoid doing just one thing when he can do a dozen. Bitch, he's Macca."
ClassicRockHistory wrote in their review of the album, "This is great songwriting; it’s pop perfection. If we were living in the era in which radio used to play music other than hip hop and rap, these new Paul McCartney songs would become staples of pop culture like so many of the Beatles classics did. However, times have changed and so sadly these great records can get lost."