Friday, December 5, 2008

George Harrison 6: Extra Texture

Arriving barely ten months after the Dark Horse album and tour, it was almost a shock to hear from George so soon. Extra Texture came complete with two grinning photos (one of which was knowingly captioned “OHNOTHIMAGEN”) and a cover designed to resemble the feel of a basketball, suggesting that he was enjoying this cockamamie business after all. However, that’s not the impression one gets listening to the actual album.
Easily, the best track is “You”, left over from the same Ronnie Spector sessions that had spawned “Try Some Buy Some”. This is an incredibly simple song, but it’s so pretty and such a great production it’s a success. (And he knew this too, which is why he added another thirty seconds of it at the start of side two.) From there, it’s straight downhill, hitting tree trunks and rocks along the way. “The Answer’s At The End” is another Frankie Crisp-inspired plea for understanding that is buried, like the rest of the album, underneath a plodding arrangement. “This Guitar (Can’t Keep From Crying)” is the first of his occasional rewrites. It’s very similar to the far superior “While My Guitar Gently Weeps”, but pales in its shadow, being much more forced with a burping Moog bass part borrowed from “Jive Talkin’”. “Ooh Baby (You Know That I Love You)” is an inaudible salute to Smokey Robinson, and while “World Of Stone” aspires to emulate the Spectorisms of All Things Must Pass, it misses widely.
The aforementioned “A Bit More Of You” fades into “Can’t Stop Thinking About You”. Perhaps he was so consumed by the one of whom he was thinking that he couldn’t write better lyrics. “Tired Of Midnight Blue” is a step in the right direction, but its arrangement sounds so much like the rest of the clinkers here that it’s too late. “Grey Cloudy Lies” also can’t get us out of the driveway, so we’re stuck with the in-joke of “His Name Is Legs (Ladies & Gentlemen)”. The protagonist—and guest vocalist—is supposed to be one hilarious fellow, but this does nothing to illustrate it, taking six minutes to boot.
Most of the songs on Extra Texture are upbeat in a smooth soul manner, with a lot of romance on his mind. But outside of “You”, there is little of any lasting value on this collection. He neatly finished off his obligation to Apple, and said goodbye with an eaten-away logo. Despite its occasional subtitle (“Read All About It”), the album doesn’t inspire much interest today. When the Harrison estate finally got around to reissuing it in the next century, the only value-add even they could find was an unreleased re-recording of “This Guitar (Can’t Keep From Crying) produced by the poor man’s Jeff Lynne, Dave Stewart.

George Harrison Extra Texture (1975)—2
2014 Apple Years reissue: same as 1975, plus 1 extra track

1 comment:

  1. It's still better than the best crap out these days pal.