The news that George Harrison had left behind one last solo album must have filled Beatles fans with mixed emotions. The chance to hear the Quiet One's final testimony was too tempting to resist, of course, but how many posthumous releases have turned out to be half-hearted embarrassments that should never have seen the light of day? With the release of Brainwashed, however, we can all heave a sigh of relief - it's no masterpiece, but it is a warm, endearing album that won't tarnish its maker's legacy one little bit. Recorded leisurely over the years and finished off by his son Dhani and longtime friend Jeff Lynne, it's essentially a collection of superior soft rock songs, shot through with Harrison's trademark spiritual musings. Not surprisingly, thoughts of death and mortality were weighing heavily on his mind at the time - and they inspire some of Brainwashed's most moving pieces, such as the charming standout 'Stuck Inside A Cloud'. It has to be said that Harrison seems to have mislaid his sense of humour somewhere back in the 60s and some of the material here may be a little po-faced for modern tastes. Overall, however, Brainwashed is a very welcome afterword to a highly individual career - one that will, you suspect, gain even more lustre as the years go by.
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