BY LEE ZIMMERMAN
Since the sad news came down that Glen Campbell has been stricken with Alzheimer’s, there’s been a flurry of activity to usher in his final hurrahs. A farewell tour, a greatest hits collection and a flood of tributes from his contemporaries all seem intended to accompany his retreat with appropriate fanfare. So it’s with that in mind that See You There offers what may well be his final swansong. Those that see it as yet another effort at exploitation might be forgiven, in that at least half the entries are gleaned from his hits. Nevertheless, it’s good to hear that Campbell’s vocals are as articulate and expressive as ever (for the record, they were recorded during the sessions for his last album, the critically acclaimed Ghost on the Canvas) and that the redone arrangements find the right fit.
That said, even diehard devotees will have to give a close listen to detect any differences between the new versions and the old. For the most part, the original orchestrations have been stripped away and replaced with more contemporary instrumentation. “Gentle on my Mind” offers the most obvious contrast, given its jauntier pace and Campbell’s freewheeling delivery. “Wichita Lineman” substitutes slide guitar for the strings that embellished the original. “Rhinestone Cowboy” finds the most distinctive difference, stripping away the glossy trappings of the earlier accompaniment and imbuing a more sobering perspective instead.
Still, See You There, like most revamps of a similar sort, begs the question of whether the new takes on these tunes can ever overshadow the originals. The obvious answer is no, but as an admirable addition to Campbell’s catalog, it’s a perfect postscript regardless.
DOWNLOAD: “Wichita Lineman,” “Galveston,” “Postcard From Paris”