Albums by venerable singers revisiting their own classics can sometimes pale by comparison with the originals, but Glen Campbell's Alzheimer's disease and a slight tremor in his voice has given new meaning to beautifully intimate renditions of the likes of Rhinestone Cowboy and By the Time I Get to Phoenix. Recorded in 2011, the year of his diagnosis, lines such as "I'm so afraid of dying" (from Galveston, originally penned about a soldier) now pack an eerie but humbling poignancy. Equally affecting are songs that now seem to offer comforting messages to those he will leave behind. "One day the sadness will leave your face," he insists in a truly gorgeous True Grit. Meanwhile, newer songs such as Waiting On the Comin' of My Lord find him staring down his fate without fear, even in good cheer. The recent There's No Me Without You – about eternal love – is as touching a song as he has ever written. If this proves to be the country legend's final album, it's a mighty and very fine way to bow out.
Dave Simpson is a Guardian music critic and author