Listening to Glen Campbell’s new album, See You There, is a bittersweet experience.
On the plus side, his baritone is vibrant and persuasive, as you can hear on “Hey Little One.” During the same sessions for his 2011 album, Ghost on the Canvas, he decided to re-record the vocals of many of his best-known songs.
After Ghost on the Canvas was released, Campbell embarked on a farewell tour. In the meantime, producers Dave Kaplan and Dave Darling worked with a group of studio musicians to enhance those haunting vocals with warm, dynamic arrangements.
On a sad note, though, Campbell was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease shortly after the sessions. And as someone with loved ones who have struggled with it, I can’t help but feel compassion when I listen to him sing. But I also hear joy, a sentiment that is echoed by Campbell’s wife, Kim, who appears in the cinematic music video.
“When Glen heard the results of what Dave and Dave did in reinterpreting these songs, he lit up and was smiling from ear to ear. And I was too,” she says.
Although the material will be familiar to any longtime country fan, it’s remarkable how certain circumstances can filter the way you hear a song. For example, the new version of “Rhinestone Cowboy” makes me cry because of how the yearning in the vocal contrasts with the ambition in the lyrics. And even if you would typically skip past a song called “Waiting on the Coming of My Lord,” Campbell’s version will move you — and perhaps leave you smiling and weeping at the same time.
See You There begins with a sterling new rendition of “Hey Little One.” Check it out.