Musically Speaking
George Harrison's Labor Of Love For Son
By Mary J. Peterson
Dec 1, 2002 - 1:24:00 PM

LOS ANGELES—A year has passed since beloved Beatle George Harrison succumbed to cancer. Harrison spent the last days of his extraordinary life in a house belonging to an associate of his dear friend Paul McCartney. The house was located on a quiet tree-lined street in a canyon above Los Angeles chosen possibly for its peaceful setting and proximity to the medical facility treating George. In what would be his final years, Harrison, an avid gardener was working on more than flowerbeds and hedgerows. He was busy in the studio recording more than a dozen new songs. Many of the songs were close to completion before Harrison's death. The songs were lovingly completed following specific instructions by George and readied for release by his only son Dhani and producer Jeff Lynne. Before he fell ill, Harrison chose Lynne to produce the album. The result is George's tenth and final solo album "Brainwashed" released November 19 of this year.

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This release contains some of Harrison's most beautifully written lyrics and arrangements. Harrison weaves together his expert slide and blues guitar, jaunty ukulele and signature vocals that result in music that is both uplifting and unique. Songs such as "Stuck Inside A Cloud," the album's first single, are reminiscent of Harrison's solo work on his 1970's release "All Things Must Pass." "Any Road" opens the CD with George's line, "Give me plenty of that guitar" and the songs deliver. They stay true to the theme of hopefulness, discovery and humor. Harrison includes an amusing cover of Arlen & Koehler's "Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea" a love song to his life, to music, to his wife and family. Harrison's lively vocals add life to this standard and his cheery ukulele is the perfect accompaniment. "Looking For My Life" was written with his loved ones in mind, portraying his search for the true meaning of his life and struggles he had with that process. "Rising Sun" features string arrangements & George's slide guitar throughout. The title song "Brainwashed" is a song about retaining a freethinking attitude in the world as it is today and maintaining a spiritual outlook on life. The ending is a Hindu chant that closes this album warmly with a prayer. As the final release of an amazing artist, whose work with the Beatles changed the course of Rock and Roll, "Brainwashed" is a true work of art.

(As the music writer for Canyon News I will be bringing readers music news and reviews about all that is musical including concerts, books, CD's and DVD's. I would like this column to inspire, enlighten and inform.)

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