The Fireman – Strawberry Oceans Ships Forest (1993)

History: Paul reached out to Martin Glover, aka Youth, to remix some of the songs on Off the Ground, originally to use as B sides for singles. He requested that he only use music from the album or Paul’s earlier works though, rather than random samples from other music. Youth found this request difficult to achieve as is, and instead reached out to McCartney about doing something completely new with the tracks. Paul liked this idea enough that they even recorded some new music samples for the album as well.

My own personal history and initial prediction: Zero, zip, nada. I had no idea The Fireman even existed before this project, and I feel like techno, remix, and experimental are such wide reaching genre descriptions that I honestly have no idea what to expect here. I may find it interesting background noise for when I’m working or relaxing, or I may find it disruptive trash that is a complete and utter slog to listen to. Let’s find out!

Review: I’m afraid the answer is bit closer to the latter. This album has 9 tracks on it with different names, but I honestly have no idea why. There were beats and samples that recurred in pretty much every single track, including spoken word clips that were used repeatedly through out. The songs did occasionally fade out and another began, but beyond that there was very little differentiation between them all and if “Transpiritual Stomp” and “Arizona Light” are truly supposed to suggest different moods or tones, I wasn’t picking up on it.

This kind of music, from what I can tell, is designed to be played in dance clubs, those loops and repetitive beats being the point of it, to give people something to dance along to. Unfortunately they don’t speak to me at all and don’t really put me in the mood for dancing. More than anything I just don’t understand why you would want 76 minutes of the same exact thing over and over. If they are made to be played individually in a club amidst other songs, then really they only had to submit one of them because no one would be able to tell the difference between any of these. With sincere apologies to those who like this type of music, this one was an absolute painful, boring experience for me and I really hope the other two albums they release in the future will not be so tedious.

Next Time: The Beatles Anthology saw the release of two new singles by the Beatles, “Free as a Bird” and “Real Love.”


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