Style: Maudlin country/rock; compare to Johnny Cash, Neil Diamond, Roy Orbison
Top tracks: "Nothing But the Whole Wide World," "Strong," "A Better Place"
Campbell has been in show biz for more than 50 years, so you'll forgive him one final flourish. Following a diagnosis with Alzheimer's, the singer and sometimes-actor has declared Ghost on the Canvas to be his farewell album, and it is both a heartfelt and frequently dramatic curtain call with all the bells and whistles. While the songs are as maudlin and inwardly-focused as the latter-day Johnny Cash albums, the arrangements are all swelling string arrangements, dramatic guitar solos, and twinkling chimes. Simpler get-up might have better served the intimate, autobiographical lyrics, but there's no denying the tear-jerking impact of his thanksgiving to the Almighty ("Amazing Grace," not the hymn but a new composition) and to his wife ("Strong")—or his surprisingly sprightly reading of Jakob Dylan's "Nothing But the Whole Wide World."1
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