It might be harsh to put it this way, but would anyone really care about Adios if Glen Campbell wasn’t dying?

If this album had come out 10 or 15 years ago (i.e. before Campbell had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s), most people would probably regard it as another decent but unremarkable piece of product from an old country pro.

But simply by being the last release likely to come out in Campbell’s lifetime, Adios gains a resonance it wouldn’t have in other circumstances. When you hear this chorus from the title track, you can’t help but remember that the man singing it will soon be shuffling off his mortal coil:


It’s touching to hear Campbell sing that, particularly since his voice sounds in such good shape. His assured delivery is equally impressive: He sounds just as conscious and confident here as he does on his big ‘70s hits.

However, knowing about Campbell’s health problems makes some of the other tracks leave a bad taste. For example, you might wince when you hear him sing these lines from “Am I All Alone (Or is it Only Me):”

Am I All Alone

The blandly tasteful production is another drawback. Granted, it’s a small miracle that producer Carl Jackson could shepherd such a difficult project and deliver such a polished album. Nonetheless, coming after the sweeping soundscapes of 2011’s Ghost on the Canvas and the stark intimacy of 2013’s See You There, the generic country backing rings a little hollow.

But even if Adios isn’t as bold or revelatory as those albums are, it still has its modest pleasures. The opening cover of the Harry Nilsson hit “Everybody’s Talkin’” suggests a ride into the sunset for the struggling musician of “Rhinestone Cowboy.” The version of “Postcard From Paris” here doesn’t top the one on See You There, but it’s heartwarming to hear Campbell’s kids harmonize with him.

Adios’ high point, however, is “Arkansas Farmboy,” a song which Jackson wrote specifically for Campbell years ago:

Arkansas Farmboy