After a critically panned first album, and a second album, Red Rose Speedway, which was regarded as 'OK', it seemed the former beatle had struck gold. For anyone who doesn't know, The Wings (commonly called Paul McCartney and the Wings) was Paul McCartney's attempt at a solo career. The recordings were becoming more serious (after they dopey Red Rose Speedway) and Band on the Run was Paul's closest attempt at recreating a Beatles' vibe. The best songs on the album are the title track, Jet, Let Me Roll It, and Picasso's Last Words. These songs are the only real stunners on the album, but the rest of the album isn't bad (there are no throwaway songs), just unimpressive. The thing that makes Band on the Run stand out, from a critical standpoint, is the level of aptitude that distinguishes each recording. Even simple songs, like Bluebird, seem better than they really are, because of the wonderful arrangement that it features (an example are the hooks and saxophone solo within Bluebird.) Helen Wheels is unique because, simply, it was a rocker, especially at a time when critics were panning McCartney for only writing cheesy pop songs. Picasso's Last Words is another example of McCartney's nuance genius. It is a simple song, really, but he turns it into something complex and wonderful.
Overall, while this album doesn't match up to his standards with The Beatles, it is still a good album, and showed, strongly, McCartney's slightly deceptive level of craftsmanship. A good listen for anyone who has listened to The Beatles music and liked it, just don't expect the same level of quality.