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Glen Campbell - Meet Glen Campbell

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Rating: * * *

While it might seem that way, the 72-year-old Campbell hasn't really done a Johnny Cash on this album.

Yes, he's covered a lot of songs a fraction of his age like Cash did on his closing-chapter American Recordings series. But the 10 tracks which range through Tom Petty, Foo Fighters, U2 and Green Day and more - are delivered as deliberately lush echoes of Campbell's glorious 60s and 70s, not as a studio last rites.

And sometimes the similarities between the sunshine country pop classics of yore and these new tunes can provoke a few giggles - Petty's otherwise fine Days starts off sounding like the sequel to Rhinestone Cowboy while the Foos' Times Like These is on the same interstate to Galveston.

The combination of high-falutin'  lyrics and stadium anthemics make his take on U2's All I Want Is You  the set's most over-reaching mismatch, though opening on Travis' Sing, with its banjo backing, proves sweet and inspired. With Campbell's Good Riddance (Time of Your Life), Green Day may find they've been opened up to a new market in the line-dancing community.

There is a suspicion on some of the grander numbers that the orchestrations are covering up a little creakiness in that formerly golden voice.  But that's offset by the more modest ballads like Jackson Browne/Nico's These Days and The Replacements' Sadly Beautiful.

They, and a few other songs, give the album a poignancy that otherwise takes a little while to emerge.

Russell Baillie





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