Sunday, September 25, 2011

Glen Campbell - Ghost On The Canvas

A lot has been written already about this record and the story behind it.  For those who may not know, Glen Campbell was diagnosed with Alzheimer's this past year.  He has chosen to make a record while he still has the ability to say good by to the industry and fans he has been playing for all these years.  One would expect this to have the sad overtones that pervaded the Johnny Cash records with Rick Rubin, but for me at least that is not the case.  This is a record full of reflections on a life lived but it is one of thanks and very often satisfaction.

There are so many strong songs here, in fact there are no real misses to be found, that it is hard to pick any one favorite.  In particular the title track, A Thousand Lifetimes and It's You Amazing Grace make as good a 3 song stretch as I have heard all year.  It's also important to remember that Glen Campbell is also a fine guitarist who was a very in demand session player before he hit solo success (Pet Sounds is him).  The solo at the end of There Is No Me...Without You is all the proof you need.

My wife commented to me that these songs sound so much like his classics of the late sixties. It's true...that sound is captured here but with an update that makes it at once in the here and now and at the same time of the past.  My kids probably won't get it, but if you have a desire to here music played that goes beyond today's pop sensibilities this one is for you.  Music for adults folks.

His last album, Meet Glen Campbell, was a surprise. This is not. It is the work of a master performer who still can sing and play at such a high level, even at 75. Alzheimer's may dim his memories but music like this will keep his memory alive for future generations. This gets the OldRockr1 Seal Approval for this or any year.

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