Three-al­bum taste of Jimmy’s range and skill. By Danny Ec­cle­ston.

Mojo (UK) - - News -

ORCH-POP IN EXTREMIS Richard Har­ris A Tramp Shin­ing

Un­like any other al­bum in the world ever, this is the sound of two ebul­lient, baroque per­son­al­i­ties (Webb writes ev­ery­thing, pro­duces, ar­ranges; Richard Har­ris, off the back of mu­si­cal suc­cess with Lerner & Loewe’s Camelot, emotes to the edge of his vo­cal abil­ity and be­yond) egging each other on. MacArthur Park’s epic hymn to ro­mance spoiled and lost for­ever pre­sides, but If You Must Leave My Life is like Bacharach gone bal­lis­tic.

THE SOLO HIGH-FLIER Jimmy Webb El Mi­rage

All of Webb’s ’70s solo al­bums have some­thing go­ing for them, but this is the only one where his singing voice feels en­tirely com­fort­able (credit pro­ducer Ge­orge Martin, giv­ing it loads of Amer­ica). Apolo­gies to Wil­lie Nel­son, Kris Kristof­fer­son & co, but Webb’s open­ing take on The High­way­man is the de­fin­i­tive per­for­mance and If You See Me Get­ting Smaller I’m Leav­ing is an­other of his great ‘my funny old ca­reer’ songs (cf. Song Seller from 1972’s Let­ters).

THE OLD FIRM MATCH Glen Camp­bell And Jimmy Webb In Ses­sion

Ev­ery home should have a ’60s Camp­bell best-of, em­brac­ing widescreen, Webb-penned smashes Galve­ston, Wi­chita Line­man, By The Time I Get To Phoenix and Where’s The Play­ground Susie?, but this late, Song­book-style col­lab­o­ra­tion is beau­ti­fully in­ti­mate, with the coun­try gi­ant’s once silken de­liv­ery made vul­ner­a­ble by age and on­com­ing Alzheimer’s. Galve­ston, a song about mem­ory and more, is un­speak­ably poignant. Adieu to a clas­sic com­bi­na­tion.

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