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4.6 out of 5 stars40
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 29 December 2002
These are strong songs with memorable melodies and a fine production sound. In any normal circumstances, this would rate very highly as a George Harrison solo album (probably right up there with 1979's "George Harrison" - which you should check out if you haven't already). However, the fact that these songs were written and recorded whilst George was dying makes this a unique experience that is both moving and inspirational. What is truely remarkable is that the songs are not in the least self pitying or depressing, but rather uplifting, reassuring and even optimistic. I urge everybody who is wavering to buy this record -one day you may need to listen to these songs in a dark moment in your own lives, and I guarantee they will help. Rest in peace, George and thank you.
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on 22 May 2003
I first hear Any Road on VH1 Classic and was captured right off. I have always liked George Harrison, he is both my mum's and my favourite Beatle. The lyrics to Any Road touched me so deeply because they illustrate options in my life at the moment. I then decided I needed the album, I found it, I love it and have been listening to it for three days straight (it helped me write an arduous essay) and i am still not bored with it.
There is not a bad song on here and is a great mix of Harrison's musical tastes and history, as well as his poetic and spiritual side. Brainwashed is another favourite of mine as it just sums up life at the moment.
Thanks for this great parting gift George and let it all begin again.
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on 23 November 2002
One of the music magazines said "all very pleasant but nothing to do with contemporary music" - and thank God for that ! This is a lovely final album from George - full of that beautiful slide guitar, wry humour, poignant lyrics and strong tunes (remember them ?), not to mention his adored uke.
A word too for the production work of Jeff Lynne and Dhani Harrison, don't believe what you read about this being overdubbed to sound like an ELO album. It probably is a bit "posher" than George originally intended but is sounds great - a cradle for George's voice and guitar as Dhani refers to it on the DVD.
Standout tracks for me are: Any Road, Pisces Fish, Looking for My Life, Marwa Blues, Stuck Inside a Cloud, Run So Far and Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea.
Thanks George.
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on 27 November 2002
What can i say.I was expecting an album of George leftovers touched up by Jeff Lyne, instead i discovered a great album with great lyrics and fantastic music.
Jeff Lyne and Dhani Harrison have done a great job producing and putting in the final touches on an album which i found to be very spiritual.George is at his best playing his guitar ,at times he actually even sounds a little bit like Pink Floyd's David Gilmour with some inspired slide guitar.Some of the songs remind me of The Travelling Wilburys and you even get an instrmental song in which George shows off his blues guitar playing.
In Conclusion quite a good album and a brilliant way to say goodbye.
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VINE VOICEon 23 November 2002
It was rumoured that George considered calling this album "Portrait of a Leg End"! "Brainwashed" sadly must stand as his epitaph following the untimely death of one of rock music's good guys. If George was suffering while he recorded this it is not apparent in the music, which has a vitality making it all the more poignant in the circumstances. His trademark slide guitar is deployed to good effect, not least on "Stuck Inside a Cloud" and the jaunty opening number "Any Road", which also displays his sardonic wit and wisdom in lines like "If you don't know where you're going, any road will take you there."

George's love of ukulele is also apparent and in his hands it is no George Formby-style novelty but an instrument adding a bright, carefree tone to a number of tracks. The album sounds like the work of a man at peace with himself and as such could hardly be a better memorial to his later years. The closing (and title) track, "Brainwashed" is an upbeat, devotional rock anthem with the passion of the best moments from the saffron-hued and incense-infused "Living in the Material World". It dissolves into a gentle, life affirming mantra, a reminder of George's own spiritual beliefs. And with that his spirit floats away. Until you go back to play it all again, that is.

If there is any criticism it is that the production is a little too "warm" at times, but it is only a minor criticism and there is still a deftness of touch which Spector's handling of the classic "All Things Must Pass" sometimes lacked (incidentally last year's reissue of "All Things Must Pass" was subtly and very effectively remixed to clear the waters and let the music shine fully - it also has some decent bonus tracks).

The DVD in the limited CD/DVD package contains some interesting interviews with the people involved, including Mr H of course, and footage of them recording the album. It's worth it if you want to spend the extra money and is beautifully packaged too. Portrait of a legend, or a leg end even, indeed! Let's remember the late, great George Harrison this way.
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on 25 January 2003
It makes you think doesn't it? I mean since the Dark Horse passed on last year you have got to wonder whether or not you think the album is good because of what it contains or because of sentimentality and nostalgia. This dilema has preoccupied me since I purchaed this on Tuesday and I am sure that I have resolved it for myself.
I like this album for a number of reasons...for the folksy songs of George Harrison, for the pleasant sound of his guitar playing, for the Jeff Lynne ELO bit, for the skill with which George had of putting a catchy tune together, for the songs and well...because it is George and I have bought every one of his albums since Wonderwall and Electronic Sounds.
This album is very evocative. There are many little things within it which are reminiscent of his other albums and the Beatles. Mostly it is about god and George's deeply felt personal beliefs. The question of god of course has many facets and Catholics will pick up on P2 Vatican Blues. If you were educated by the Christian Brothers this track will have even more poignancy. It just goes to show that you can be spiritual with a good tune and not sound hectorng. Religion is clearly a very integral part of George's life which permeated every aspect of his being. The songs clearly demonstrate that his love and feelings, for family, friends and the wider world are all part of his beliefs. He displays enormous compassion and a realism which underscores the clarity of vision with which he viwed the world.
In many ways this is Living in The Material World II but in many other ways this album is a distillation of all of his life's work. The musicians including his son Dhani are renowned for their contributions to rock and other idioms over the last forty years or so but they are friends and peers too. This is a serious album of serious songs, but it is a little comic too (and cosmic, not taking itself too seriously and harking back to All Things Must Pass (& 2000). George also directs some criticism at the world of pop today by expressing the simplicity of making his own music with instruments not by plagiarising others.
As I play this album for the umpteenth time in the car I cannot help but feel that this is a beautiful testimony to a beautiful man who has brought joy to millions and given something back to the world. For those of us who were brought up with the Beatles, he has been our concience and our spiritual sky. We may not share his religious or philosophical beliefs but he has shown us that there is more to life and for that I am sure we are thankful.
This is an eloquent eulogy for the quiet one who has passed on and is born again.The wheel keeps turning and we all go round again.
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on 26 November 2007
For me, this is George' greatest record. For whatever reason I didn't listen to it for years but I saw it last night on a shelf in my friends bedroom and thought to myself it was about time I did. And I'm very happy I have. It's superb and I've now ordered my own copy. I'd say it's even better than All things must pass.. All the songs are enjoyable and truly wonderful. To think George was where he was at, when recording it.. some of the melodies make you happy, uplifted and frankly almost close to tears.. They have that ability to make your chest fill with butterflies.. butterflies of pride, happiness and love for a wonderful man, a wonderful songwriter.
Buy this record!
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on 5 June 2004
With 'Brainwashed' George gets it all off his chest as he waits for the final ride into the ether on his 'Dark Horse'.
As with most of his projects, the lyrics are poetic, meaningful, and occasionally tongue-in-cheek. This is a man who tells it as he sees it. I enjoy the Beatles but I'm no die-hard fan, and I have to say George's solo work eclipses anything the Beatles ever did for me. This album is no exception. Jeff Lynne's production talent is awesome and he has really done this album justice (ignore the 'Beatle purists' who claim it sounds like ELO because it DOESN'T. Anyway, this is not a Beatles album). You get the undeniable feel of a man making peace with himself and the planet in his last days which is both moving and uplifting. Anyone who enjoyed 'All Things Must Pass' through to 'Cloud 9' and the Travelling Wilburys MUST BUY THIS if they haven't already. There are tracks on here that become favorites at first listen, such as the meaningful 'Stuck Inside A Cloud', the British observations of 'Pisces Fish' and the old-timey uke-filled cover of 'Between The Devil And The Deep Blue Sea'. Also there's plenty of the trademark Harrison slide guitar which is haunting and ethereal.
If you want to hear what this man was about, get 'Brainwashed'. You won't be disappointed. Thanks, George.
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on 24 August 2004
I have to say I had high expectations when purchasing this album, and they were met, no exceeded by what I heard in Brainwashed. Dhani and Jeff have produced it brilliantly. George's songs on this album are a true delight to listen to, such as tracks like "Marwa Blues", "Stuck Inside A Cloud" and "P2 Vatican Blues (Last Saturday Night)." It is a masterpiece which I urge every Beatle/Traveling Wilburys or George solo fan to buy. It is my opinion quintessencially George's Finest Work!
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on 3 January 2005
Brainwashed what can you say about a album that was done by legend like george. one thing i have to say is all the songs are george harrison classic. it's really sad that he's not here to enjoy the glowing reviews this album has got. because this album deserves all the cerdit and more not just because it was made while he was dying. it's just beautiful beyond words. and i cry everytime i hear it. Harrison I hope you've found your resting place "any road will take you there"
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