Glen Campbell Takes A Break From Branson To Play For The Kids

Dan Gibson | August 19, 2008 11:00 am

From time to time, we like to round up the all-important, all-summarizing last sentences of the biggest new-music reviews. After the jump, we look at the reactions to the latest album trying out the “Let’s have this old guy sing songs he’s clearly not familiar with!” formula, Glen Campbell’s Meet Glen Campbell, which hits record stores today.

• “And although he has his moments of sentimentality on John Lennon’s ‘Grow Old With Me’ and the Velvet Underground’s ‘Jesus,’ Campbell is still a formidable interpreter of song who even overcomes heavy-handed production to remind us why he was always our favorite charismatic pop-music cowboy.” [Boston Globe]

• “Much like Johnny Cash’s late-in-life work with producer Rick Rubin, these are serious recordings where Campbell locates the emotional thread in meaningful lyrics from those with different backgrounds than his. The best cuts–his takes on Jackson Browne’s ‘These Days,’ U2’s ‘All I Want Is You’ and John Lennon’s ‘Grow Old With Me’–own a timeless beauty that bridges generations and cultures.” [Canadian Press]

• “Overall, the tracks could’ve benefited from less showy musicianship in favor of a naked spotlight on Campbell’s world-weary perspective. Certainly, at age 72, Campbell has earned the right to just sing it as he sees it.” [Sacramento Bee]

• “He has picked well-written and age-appropriate songs. Jackson Browne’s weary reflection These Days, composed in the late ’60s when the songwriter was a teenager, seems more relevant and moving coming from a 72-year-old with a lived-in voice. Even better, the Replacements’ wistful Sadly Beautiful, about a father watching his child mature, has a perfect foil in Campbell.” [Miami Herald]