Album review

Glen Campbell

‘Ghost on the Canvas’

By Christopher Muther
Globe Staff / August 29, 2011

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After a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s and a grim proclamation that “Ghost on the Canvas’’ would be his final album, it is inevitable that country crossover artist Glen Campbell would record biographically reflective songs such as “A Better Place’’ and “A Thousand Lifetimes.’’ But it’s not only the lyrics that sift through the singer’s history. The title track, written by Paul Westerberg, not-so-subtly borrows the sweeping orchestral pop of Campbell’s signature “Wichita Lineman,’’ as does “A Thousand Lifetimes.’’ Past glories echo throughout, but “Ghost’’ should be more than a recasting of Campbell’s greatest hits. Even with the obvious paeans, the record is still gorgeous and charming. Campbell’s honeyed voice remains intact despite his peccadilloes over the decades. An impressive array of musicians - Chris Isaak, Brian Setzer, Billy Corgan, Dick Dale - help make it a fitting tribute to Campbell’s accomplishments. But the undertow of the past tugging at “Ghost’’ sadly overshadows Campbell’s emotional and musical growth. (Out tomorrow)

ESSENTIAL “It’s Your Amazing Grace’’