The quickest way for a once-superstar singer to rehabilitate his career and recapture relevance among today’s audiences is issue a cover album. Rod Stewart can’t rape the American standard songbook fast enough, and now it’s Glen Campbell’s turn.
Except that the former Rhinestone Cowboy and erstwhile Wichita Lineman has his sights set on a younger, hipper crowd.
Here, he brings his country twang to 10 modern rock songs made famous by such unlikely suspects as The Replacements, Green Day and Foo Fighters. In reworking the songs to his own strengths without denigrating the originals, he’s taken the Johnny Cash route, and mostly succeeds.
The first song, “Sing,” is the best, rendered with far more emotional power than the Brit band Travis did. Other highlights come in the form of Jackson Browne’s “These Days” and U2’s “All I Want Is You.”
Neither novelty nor desperate, “Meet Glen Campbell” marks a welcome return … or a great first impression.