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Neither the rustic Wild Life nor the slick AOR flourishes of Red Rose Speedway earned Paul McCartney much respect, so he made the self-consciously ambitious Band on the Run partially to rebuke his critics. On the surface, Band on the Run appears to be constructed as a song cycle in the vein of Abbey Road, but subsequent listens reveal that there are only passing similarities between the two albums. Some of this is quite showy, particularly the whimsical mini-suite of the title track and the surging surrealism of "Jet," but some of the most enduring moments are simpler, like the sunny acoustic "Bluebird" and rocking, rolling "Helen Wheels." Sometimes McCartney's whimsy is a little strong, but song for song Band on the Run is always enjoyable, whether McCartney is running through "Picasso's Last Words" or responding to John Lennon's "How Do You Sleep" taunts with "Let Me Roll It."