Paul McCartney has stepped into the video-game realm and though his intentions are noble, the results are less than flattering.
Monday, on the 34th anniversary of the death of bandmate John Lennon, the former Beatle released a new song, “Hope for the Future,” and an accompanying video. The song is a sprawling, inspirational anthem recorded with a 120-piece orchestra as a theme song for the online first-person-shooter game “Destiny.” It’s not the worst song he’s ever written, but it’s not likely to jump on anyone’s list of top 20 McCartney songs, either.
The melody is pretty, but in the service of issuing a petition for hope, the lyrics pour on the cheese, insipidly: “Some hope for the future/Some wait for the call/They say the days ahead/Will be the best of all … Hope for the future/It will belong to us/If we believe.”
As a standalone theme song, “Hope for the Future” is innocuous. No blood, no foul. The video, however, is another story. McCartney appears as a hologram or a ghost, standing on a mountain, gesturing awkwardly and self-consciously in between various shots of barren, futuristic landscapes. It looks like something that would have been considered dazzling and ground-breaking 30 years ago. If this was a move to appear current and relevant, it backfired.
Reaction on YouTube has been all over the place, from “It’s rubbish,” “This is tough to watch,” “What a piece of s***” and “Sounds like a really bad Rush song” to “This song is just what the video game is about.” Rolling Stone magazine ambiguously called the video “jaw-dropping.” (In a good or bad way?)
McCartney also composed 50 minutes of additional music for the game’s score, and reportedly did it all for free — a noble gesture, that. However, he might want to consider paying someone to remove him from the video.