Glen Campbell - See You There
Life regularly throws things up that overtake everything else. In 2011 country legend Glen Campbell released what was said to be his last album of original material and undertook a final tour on the back of news that he was retiring due to the onset of Alzheimer’s. Both tour and album were greeted with a swathe of positive reviews, not out of sympathy, but because one of the icons of American music had produced something unexpected and touching, with real quality.
With his awful diagnosis came the knowledge that we were unlikely to hear from him again once his tour had concluded. Happily, the surprise announcement of See You There has given us another 'final' chance to hear the great man's voice one last time. A mixture of re-imaginings and off-cuts from the Ghost On The Canvas sessions, this selection doesn’t shy away from his monster hits.
Let’s get those out of the way upfront. You can’t improve on perfection, and ‘Wichita Lineman’ remains perfection. There is a rich, velvety texture to Campbell's voice that changes the emphasis of the song slightly, and the production takes much more of a backseat, as it generally does on the rest of the album. But be in no doubt, the voice is front and centre here, as it deserves to be. Conversely, ‘Rhinestone Cowboy’ has been electrified with a deeper, more modern sound and loses a little of its innocence. After the opening salvo of hits (‘Hey Little One’, ‘Witchita Lineman’, and ‘Gentle On My Mind’) things keep going strong with a beautiful version of ‘What I Wouldn’t Give’, a fitting centrepiece, settled between the previously unreleased - and surprisingly catchy - ‘Waiting On The Comin’ Of My Lord’, and a subtly toned down ‘Galveston’. The classic ‘By The Time I Get To Phoenix’ sounds better than ever and is improved by Campbell’s seasoned, richer voice.
See You There brings everything full circle; if this really is the last music we hear from Glen Campbell then there couldn't have been a more fitting way to bring things to a close. What a treat awaits those already there.