Brainwashed (Bonus DVD)

( 13 )

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David Sprague
Out of the limelight for much of the decade prior to his death from cancer in November 2001, George Harrison hadn't stopped following his muse. The posthumously completed Brainwashed is immersed in the simple charm, melodic instinct, and spiritual insight that had always marked Harrison's better work. Wistful, spare tunes like "Stuck Inside a Cloud," which pits a simple, plaintive vocal against one of the ex-Beatle's trademark twangy guitar lines, dominate the disc, and there are occasional allusions to Harrison's illness (as on the melancholy "Run So Far"). The album was co-produced by Harrison, his son Dhani (who also sings and plays guitar), and George's longtime ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David Sprague
Out of the limelight for much of the decade prior to his death from cancer in November 2001, George Harrison hadn't stopped following his muse. The posthumously completed Brainwashed is immersed in the simple charm, melodic instinct, and spiritual insight that had always marked Harrison's better work. Wistful, spare tunes like "Stuck Inside a Cloud," which pits a simple, plaintive vocal against one of the ex-Beatle's trademark twangy guitar lines, dominate the disc, and there are occasional allusions to Harrison's illness (as on the melancholy "Run So Far"). The album was co-produced by Harrison, his son Dhani (who also sings and plays guitar), and George's longtime friend and collaborator Jeff Lynne, who himself has wondered if the results are slicker than Harrison would have wanted. Far from gleaming with studio polish, however, Brainwashed only suffers Lynne's overly heavy hand on a couple of tracks, including "Never Get Over You," which tilts the emphasis away from Harrison's tune and toward the plush production. Elsewhere, Harrison's searching songs provide grist for both body and soul with simple, understated arrangements and evocative lyrics. "Had no idea where I was heading/I only found it out when I was down upon my knees/Looking for my life," he sings atop acoustic strumming on the pensive "Looking for My Life." Even in his less-than-stellar health, Harrison proved an inventive instrumentalist, shifting from guitar to dobro (check his slide work on the subdued instrumental "Marwa Blues") to ukulele on songs such as a lilting cover of Hoagy Carmichael's "Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea" -- which itself dovetails nicely into the sun-dappled blues of "Rocking Chair in Hawaii." While hardly flawless, Brainwashed has more than enough glimmering facets to qualify as a diamond in the rough -- and a sweet, understated epitaph for "the Quiet Beatle."
All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
George Harrison went quiet not long after the second Traveling Wilburys album, surfacing only for the Beatles' Anthology in the mid-'90s. He was recording all the while, yet he died before completing the album that would have been the follow-up to 1987's Cloud Nine. His son, Dhani, and his longtime friend/collaborator Jeff Lynne completed the recordings, released late in 2002, nearly a year after George's death, as Brainwashed. Given its baggage it's easy to be suspicious about the merits of Brainwashed prior to hearing it. Posthumous efforts often feel incomplete, Harrison's albums were frequently inconsistent, and Lynne favors ornate, cinematic productions that run contrary to George's desire for this project to be simple and low key -- nothing that would suggest that Brainwashed would be a success. Defying all odds, Brainwashed isn't just a success, it's one of the finest records Harrison ever made. No, it doesn't achieve the splendor of All Things Must Pass, nor is it quite of its time like both Living in the Material World and Cloud Nine were, but it's a quiet, subtle gem, one that strikes close to the heart of Harrison's music. It's intimate, alternately insightful and cheerfully lightweight, balancing his trademark black humor with silliness and good humor. Anyone searching the album for his views on mortality -- as he faced not only cancer, but an attacker that nearly took his life -- will surely find it, but this is not a somber album, it is a warm album, the sound of someone enjoying life without losing his wry sense of humor. This same spirit carries over to the music, with Harrison abandoning the idea of getting a hit and simply relaxing, primarily by playing a lot of ukulele and guitar. There aren't any major songs here and perhaps a tune or two could be pegged as throwaways by the cynical, but there are no down moments and it all holds together well -- better than most Harrison albums -- and it's a fitting way to say goodbye, every bit as good as Double Fantasy and, in some respects, even sweeter.
Entertainment Weekly - Tom Sinclair
It's nice to report that Harrison's last will and testament stacks up remarkably well against the rest of his oeuvre. (B+)

It's nice to report that Harrison's last will and testament stacks up remarkably well against the rest of his oeuvre. (B+)
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 11/19/2002
  • Label: Capitol
  • UPC: 724354196928
  • Catalog Number: 41969
  • Sales rank: 21,515

Album Credits

Performance Credits
George Harrison Primary Artist, Acoustic Guitar, Bass, Dobro, Electric Guitar, Background Vocals, Voices, Slide Guitar
Jeff Lynne Bass, Percussion, Piano, Electric Guitar, Keyboards, Background Vocals, 12-string Guitar, Acoustic Bass, Wurlitzer
Herbie Flowers Bass, Tuba
Jools Holland Piano
Jim Keltner Drums
Ray Cooper Drums
Jane Lister Harp
Mike Moran Keyboards
Marc Mann Keyboards, Recorder
John Etchells Recorder
Ryan Ulyate Recorder
Sam Brown Background Vocals
Dhani Harrison Acoustic Guitar, Guitar, Background Vocals, Wurlitzer
Joe Brown Rhythm Guitar
Technical Credits
Jeff Lynne Producer
Ryan Ulyate Digital Editing
Marc Mann Digital Editing
Dhani Harrison Producer
George Harrison Producer
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 13 )
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(11)

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Sort by: Showing all of 13 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 29, 2014

    This is a wonderful album.  I agree with the reviewer who said i

    This is a wonderful album.  I agree with the reviewer who said it gets better the more you listen to it.  The album has a lot of depth.  Of course there is a sadness to it, but this can't be helped.  The songs that were chosen were chosen well.  It has some of the best guitar ever on a George Harrison album.  Contrary to the prevailing opinion, my favorite GH album is "Living in the Material World."  I wasn't expecting something like that.  But I like this album a great deal.  I think my biggest surprise was that I actually liked hearing the uke.  I'm more of a guitar and bass fan, having played bass for many years.  But George did some interesting things on every instrument he played, going way back to the sitar on Beatles albums.  

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    best work for along time

    Got to be his best album since All things must pass. He really hits the nail on the head with this one, no irritating songs or down moments. sadly missed guitaris

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Inside our heads

    His physical being is gone,but through his music and passion he lives for a lifetime. This CD belongs between "ATMP" and Cloud 9.Thank you George.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    That voice will be missed

    George has made me a ukelele fan. What a great way to say goodbye and let us have a glimpse (and some peace) about dealing with death. George was a fine musician and a better man.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    respect

    This cd is very good and shows us how we will mis George in the future. Nico, Belgium

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Finely produced swan song

    Great job, Jeff and Dhani. Understated, warm sound.. George's guitar is much more prominent here than on his last work, Cloud Nine.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Classic Harrison

    This is a very good CD--classic Harrison: spiritual, playful and thoughtful. It's sad to realize that I'll never again experience listening to a new George Harrison CD, but reassuring to remember his wonderful music will live on forever.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Inspirational

    Everything you could ever wish for. A testament to a simple, lovely and inspirationally dignified human being.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    God bless George, Brainwashed is Great!!!

    I did not expect "Brainwashed" to be a post beatle masterpiece but Dahni and Jeff did a beautiful job with what George laid down and the new CD is wonderful!!! I LOVE IT. Mr. Harrison's songs are as fresh as the day's of the early Beatles. PLAY IT LOUD! LOUD Kelly

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    beautiful song

    The song 'Rising Sun' is George's most beautiful. There is much bittersweet and beautiful music on this elegantly produced disc.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Brainwashed- excellent

    An exellent album. The more you listen the better it it gets.George has always been better post Beatle

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Harrison shines for his departure

    Brainwashed is filled with beauitiful melodies, delightful slide guitar hooks accompanied by a strong voiced Harrison. The use of ukelele on many of the tracks blends in splendidly. The non Harrison cut (Devil and the Deep Blue Sea)is fun and destined to be a sing-a-long. No overproduction ELO style here! Great album to keep fans reminded of an individual who loved life and music.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Isn't it a pity..........

    Bought this when it first came out for a professionally trained musician friend (who occasionally performs professionally); she gave it back a couple of weeks ago. Never heard the entire album and didn't understand why until I finally played it for myself; now, I'm giving it away (i've been a serious guitar "hobbyist" for 30+ years). With apologies to those who like the album, I just don't know what everybody sees in this, other than it being the swansong of one of the two (Lennon is the other) most talented, spiritual, intelligent and sensitive Beatles... The songs are mediocre at best and what redeeming values were there are ruined by the flat, overprocessed, cold digital sound quality. Jeff Lynn's overproduction kills what little warmth might have been left... Everything Lynn does sounds the same; he's no Phil Spector, that's for sure... The title song, "Brainwashed" had possibilities, but repeated plays leave me feeling it's kind of adolescent... This is not close to being one of Harrison's best works; "All Things Must Pass," both the original and the newer release, are the best, methinks.....

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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