RECORDS / Rock: Paul McCartney - Off the Ground (Parlophone PCSD 125)

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Paul McCartney Produces Album Not Entirely Devoid Of Interest Shock] The unspeakable single 'Hope of Deliverance' was obviously a cunning ploy to lull his admirers into a false sense of insecurity, because among the usual tame rockers and anodyne smooch-fests here, there is actually the odd surprise. 'Mistress and Maid', one of two songwriting collaborations with Elvis Costello, speaks up for dissatisfied womanhood - something of a departure for both parties - and on the Animal Experiments Are Bad shocker 'Looking for Changes', Paul is actually heard to use the word 'bastard'. The album finishes on a real upward curve with the spirited 'Winedark Open Sea' and a couple of treats for fans of McCartney's old band. The otherwise ludicrous 'C'mon People' ('Call all the minstrels from the ancient shrine' indeed) boasts a lovely big orchestral finale with George Martin conducting; the concluding Lennonist romp 'Cosmically Conscious' is a real blast from the past.