Tuesday, 30 August 2011
Glen Campbell - Ghost On The Canvas
If this is indeed Glen Campbell's musical swan-song then he is flying away with huge wings. The voice on all of these songs is strong and crystal clear, regardless of his age at 75. The songs are often simple - and often clever too - but it is the Campbell voice that resonates distinctively throughout and carries them to sustained heights.
The lyrics do matter so much on this album, whether his own in the co-writing efforts or those written for him, the Alzeimer's diagnosis informing the reflections and inner tributes, but no more than his musical past and achievements themselves warrant and prompt. What this collection does achieve is a magical representation of the Campbell oeuvre that made him famous, notably the Jimmy Webb songs and sound [with Paul Westerberg's Any Trouble - where Campbell's guitar playing works to its patent - and the album producer Julian Raymond/Campbell co-penned A Thousand Lifetimes proving clear echos here], but also a modern tone in, for example, It's Your Amazing Grace that marries past and present in its more sweeping, anthemic quality before leading into next song, Teddy Thompson's In My Arms which Campbell delivers with infectious gusto, the version also bolstered by great back-up guitar work.
This is a superb celebration of talent.