Tuesday, February 2nd, 2016

Ashley Campbell – Remembering

And a hit on the second try, with its first version no less…


Crystal Leww: The narrative behind “Remembering” is an odd one: the original version was released in 2014 as part of Campbell’s tribute to her father, the uptempo “single” version was released in late October, and finally, at the end of 2015, the original slower version ended up getting radio play. It’s a better pick; while the instrumentation is lush in the uptempo version, the slower version is nostalgic and sad, raw and vulnerable. The ballads of country radio still belong to the women.

Alfred Soto: Knowing she’s Glen Campbell’s daughter gives the lyric and banjo licks their frisson — the old guy praised her anyway after she screwed up a couple notes in “Blackbird.” Knowing and not knowing, the results still play safe.

Jonathan Bogart: You can hear her father in her unfashionably subdued voice, in which the details of phrasing triumphs over showy histrionics. But you can hear modern (as well as classic) country in the sentimental instrumentation, punctuating her no-doubt-heartfelt lyric with all the subtlety of a Nicholas Sparks adaptation.

Brad Shoup: Someone else might have just released an allusive song called “Bone for Bone.” But directness is called for here: for Ashley, and for her father. Still, this is no greeting card: that pounding kick drum is relentless.

Iain Mew: Ashley Campbell links up the backwards and forwards looking parts of the story smartly, but it’s the sense in her voice that she’s willing herself to acceptance that’s most moving. It’s the way that she infuses everything with fondness but can’t bring herself to linger, and if anything the busier single version with its added distractions helps that come through even stronger.

Thomas Inskeep: I want to like this — you can find the backstory easily — but it manages to reduce the agony of Alzheimer’s disease into something trite and, dare I say, almost cutesy, so I really can’t. Plus, her voice, the production, the arrangement are all nothin’ special.

Edward Okulicz: If it didn’t come with a pre-made narrative, you might be tempted to invent one. It’s not much more than a fond story and a friendly sound, but Campbell does well with it.

Katherine St Asaph: The disarming Suzanne Vega cadence in Campbell’s voice elevates this above glurge.

Jibril Yassin: Given the subject matter at hand, this had grounds to turn into a complete mess but there’s a remarkable level of restraint to be found here. 

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