Wednesday, February 15, 2012
MUSIC REVIEW OF THE DAY: GLEN CAMPBELL - MEET GLEN CAMPBELL
Then there's this beauty, a wonderful later-career disc. This isn't his most recent album, but the one before it, his comeback album of 2008. At the time, Campbell teamed up with the much younger producer Julian Raymond, who had the idea of remodelling Campbell using modern, somewhat alternative and left-field songwriters and material: works by Foo Fighters, U2, Paul Westerberg, and Lou Reed. But before you scream Johnny Cash and Rick Rubin, it wasn't quite the same. While Raymond used the same trick of making surprising and excellent song choices, the production was actually full-on, rather than the stripped-down records Cash and Rubin made. It's a fabulous sound, part modern, and part classic Campbell, great big sounds with horns and strings, and classic guitar and banjo licks straight out of the 60's. There are so many great versions, such as Jackson Browne's These Days, rich and emotive, Campbell given lots of room to soar, and rising to the occasion. Turning Green Day's Good Riddance into a folk ballad with a driving drum track and mandolin solo is sheer bravado, and again, a complete success. The only time you feel like Campbell might be heading back to Branson, Missouri material is on the gospel cut Jesus, until you realize it's Lou Reed's song.
This updated version is met to tie in with the Grammy bounce, and there's some nice additions. There are two remixes of classics, Gentle On My Mind and Galveston, really just the normal cuts with the sonics cleaned up. Then there are three cuts for an AOL session, the highlight being Wichita Lineman with Campbell proving he still has it, a take on U2's All I Want Is You, featured on the main album, and unfortunately, a similarly cheesy Rhinestone Cowboy. He really should have done Galveston on the Grammy's.