George Harrison

George Harrison

Dark Horse / Universal, 1979

REVIEW BY: Benjamin Ray


A pleasant singer-songwriter album, firmly of its time but possessing mild pleasures for those into the soft rock AOR genre, George Harrison ended the first decade of solo recording from the “quiet Beatle” with something of a whimper.

Right away, it’s evident that Harrison chose to tone down his more overt spiritual musings and young-man fascination with Indian music. Instead, he appeared to have picked up on the Wings approach to soft rock in the ‘70s, following former bandmate Paul McCartney’s lead into writing pleasing, inoffensive pop tunes that only hinted at what he was capable of.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

The Steve Winwood synth cameo and banal lyrics reveal the professional radio-ready approach of “Love Comes To Everyone,” but it’s not especially memorable, nor are the soft midtempo numbers that float by on much of the record. But it’s George Harrison, and so there will always be an interesting hook or chorus that bubbles up, such as the cheerful singalong middle of “Blow Away” and the evident joy of “Faster,” an ode to the Formula One Racing that was Harrison’s real passion at this time of his life. He also had just married Olivia, who gets a lovely song here in “Dark Sweet Lady.”

But that’s about it for true highlights. The real draw of the record – at the time, and still today – is “Not Guilty,” written for the Beatles’ white album but never released, due to its blunt subject matter. It would have worked well on All Things Must Pass, but Harrison instead chose to revamp it 10 years later for this record, blunting some of the impact it would have had and possibly confusing those who had moved on. Listening to it in hindsight now, the song is quieter and more full of regret than the original electric version that eventually appeared on Anthology 3, not quite as bitter, but more like a man coming to terms with a pivotal failure in his career and personal life. To me, it’s just as effective as the original, and it’s easily the best song here.

George Harrison is probably one of the man’s more consistent efforts, but it’s not a necessary record, just a mediocre one best suited to fans of mellow ‘70s soft rock.

Rating: C-

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