Glen Campbell Will Not Save You From Yourself

glen-campbellmugshot.jpgBY JOE WARMINSKY The best song on Jenny Lewis’s Rabbit Fur Coat was her Traveling Wilburys cover; she turned “Handle With Care” — with assists from indie worker-bees Oberst, Ward and Gibbard — into a post-millennial service economy lament. (In the hands of Lynne/Petty/Harrison/Orbison/Dylan, I saw it more as a rumination on suburban boomer anomie.) But more importantly, Lewis refreshed a fusty, shopworn hit by simply taking it seriously. Jenny one, FM rock zero. In that same way, Glen Campbell’s new album racks up a score of at least 3-0. With its 10 showy covers of alt-rock familiarities and AOR chestnuts, Meet Glen Campbell is some laugh-out-loud shit, but only because it’s so surprisingly vibrant and surehanded.

The baritone, nearly monotone, Rhinestone Cowboy — who still plays a mean, mean rhythm guitar — makes the most of the Foo Fighters’ “Times Like These,” festooning it with countrypolitan strings and replacing Dave Grohl’s desperate howl with grandfatherly force. It’s purely believable. The other two home runs: the Velvet Underground’s “Jesus” (not heroin-twee, but boozy megachurch!) and Jackson Browne’s “These Days” (not, uh, Jackson Browne but, like, manly!). Only a real grump would fail to see the entertainment value in either. MORE

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