Glen Campbell’s ‘See You There’ is a great coda to his career

Annie Zaleski

Three and a half stars

See You There Glen Campbell

To fully appreciate Glen Campbell’s See You There, a collection comprising re-recorded versions of his enduring hits and more recent compositions, it’s necessary to consider the context in which the album evolved.

The country legend recorded vocals for these songs during the sessions for his last studio album, 2011’s Ghost on the Canvas, right before he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. With Campbell’s touring days over due to the disease’s progression, his label head heard the recordings (which were never actually intended to be released) and felt they deserved to be finished.

Judging by See You There, these instincts were right; it’s a fitting coda to Campbell’s illustrious career. Spare arrangements bolstered by simple, resonant instrumentation—fluttery acoustic guitar, faint electrified twang, barely perceptible percussion—leave his still-vibrant voice the album’s focal point. These vocal performances are anything but fragile; Campbell sounds proud and strong on classics “Wichita Lineman” and “Galveston,” and expresses deep, affecting longing on newer songs “What I Wouldn’t Give” and “I Wish You Were Here.” And even though “Rhinestone Cowboy” and “Waiting On The Comin’ Of My Lord” sound like farewells, the subtext is that Campbell is cognizant of his mortality, but not resigned to it. See You There is more of a see-you-later than it is a final good-bye.

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