Growing up surrounded by the sounds of Glenn Campbell through his BEACH BOYS days to his acting in films like “True Grit”, his voice always intrigued me. When his country roots made their way into the Top 40 in the mid 70’s, when punk had underground strength and disco was on the verge of breaking out, “Rhinestone Cowboy” went to #1.
Now, 37 years later, he may not have broke the Top 40 across the board, but the country charts have him peaking at #6. Along with this, his album has gained much respect from critics everywhere with articles of praise in all magazines and newspapers.
The title track, “Ghost on a Canvas”, culminates all Campbell has ever offered the world with his music. Small background touches dotted with a guitar or keyboard note here and there only brings the listener closer to the Glen Campbell discography. The lyrics, whether written exclusively by Campbell or not, reflect in his “My Way” song. He did do it his way with the best of his abilities as a singer, an actor and a husband/father. Some may disagree once they stumble upon “A Thousand Lifetimes” and review the words, but I feel this is more a biography that looks in from the outside. The song is screaming to be heard but is more of a tell all than a declaration.
Jakob Dylan ‘s offering, “Nothing but the Whole Wide World”, has chilling overtones seeped in an acceptance of life’s journey with riches abound. After hearing the song to completion, it is surprising that he was unable to secure a song from Bruce Springsteen, as his writing along with Jakob Dylan’s would have paired up nicely. “Its your Amazing Grace” is a dedication to his wife of 30 years, Kimberly Woollen, but has a vibe that the words can reflect their devotion as a couple to Messianic Judaism.
“In My Arms” is pure and simply a great upbeat country song with little twang but lots of danceable sound. Line dancers can come full-throttle to the dance floor while shuffling their cow-boy/girl boots on wood bottom stages. This song is about the fun that Campbell’s music has to offer, not the “feel sorry me” final CD that some are looking to hear. The songs he has chosen for this final release are reflective but carry a powerful message of hope for anyone struggling to pay bills, to complete at a higher level or musicians who are at a crossroads, about to let their dreams go blowing in the wind.
It is hard to imagine after all the acknowledgements that Ghost on a Canvas has received in conjunction with his final tour that he would not want to squeak out another. Highly unlikely it would accompany a tour but as his vocal ability maintains an energetic force could there be one more…