George Harrison

Brainwashed (Capitol)

In 1995, reflecting on the toll that Beatlemania took on the Fab Four, George Harrison said, "They gave their money, and they gave their screams, but the Beatles kind of gave their nervous systems." Harrison spent his solo career trying to reconstruct some semblance of normalcy while aspiring to the quiet spiritual rewards of a modest monk.

Knowing that his long battle with cancer was coming to a close, Harrison started his final musical statement knowing he wouldn't see its completion. His son, Dhani, and friend and fellow Traveling Wilbury Jeff Lynne finished the project according to Harrison's detailed instructions, allowing the disc's 12 tracks to retain a remarkably candid feel from an adamantly private man. Harrison's voice is vibrant, his songwriting is sharply honed, and his characteristic guitar work reminds you how far it went in defining the sound of the Beatles. It's always been fashionable to ascribe the Fabs with pithy identities -- Lennon was the Beatles' conscience, McCartney its voice, Starr its sense of humor, Harrison its soul -- but such exercises only serve to diminish the range of talent possessed by each. With Brainwashed, Harrison proves he had each of these traits all along.

 
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