Personnel: George Harrison (vocals, acoustic & electric guitars, dobro, ukulele); Isabela Borzymowska (spoken vocals); Jeff Lynne (acoustic, electric & 12-string guitars, piano, Wurlitzer piano, keyboards, bass, background vocals); Dhani Harrison (acoustic & electric guitars, Wurlitzer piano, background vocals); Jane Lister (harp); Jools Holland, Jon Lord (piano); Mike Moran, Marc Mann (keyboards); Jim Keltner (drums); Bikram Ghosh (tabla); Sam Brown (background vocals).
Producers: George Harrison, Dhani Harrison, Jeff Lynne.
BRAINWASHED was nominated for the 2004 Grammy Award for Best Pop Vocal Album. "Marwa Blues" won the 2004 Grammy Award for Best Pop Instrumental Performance. "Any Road" was nominated for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance.
BRAIN WASHED may be the posthumous successor to 1987's CLOUD NINE, but the 15 years George Harrison took to put this collection of songs together was time well spent. Featuring a small group of musicians including son Dhani, fellow Wilbury Jeff Lynne, and Jools Holland, Harrison's last legacy showcases some of his finest playing wrapped around the kind of weighty topics expected from someone with terminal cancer. Introspective without being the least beat mawkish, the ex-Beatle touches on the metaphoric wonders of dawn ("Rising Sun"), his inevitable demise ("Looking For My Life"), and a fond look back at a former lover ("Never Get Over You").
Lynne's production steers clear of its usual heavy-handed tendencies and instead allows Harrison's playing to shine and come to the fore on cuts like the crying instrumental "Marwa Blues" and the slide guitar-fueled sweetness of "Rocking Chair in Hawaii." The late great one even snags a ukulele and delivers a light and easy version of the standard "Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea." Appropriately enough, Harrison's interest in Eastern religious thought finds its place in the album-ending title track via a reading from the Yoga Aphorisms of Patanjali, lending a fitting epilogue to the last new work from the Quiet Beatle.
Rolling Stone (12/26/02, p.106) - Included in Rolling Stone's "50 Best Albums of 2002"
Rolling Stone (12/12/02, pp.91-2) - "BRAINWASHED is a warm, frank goodbye, a remarkably poised record about the reality of dying, by a man on the verge..."
Entertainment Weekly (11/22/02, p.76) - "...It's suffused with the quiet Beatle's trademark warmth, candor, and good-will....It's an aptly poignant conclusion to the career of this longtime spiritual seeker..." - Rating: B+
Uncut (12/02, p.134) - 3 stars out of 5 - "...Harrison's songs and singing represent a burst of form....These songs are what George wanted to say at the end, and they say it well..."
Mojo (Publisher) (12/02, p.102) - "...BRAIN-WASHED is a mature and often profound record, comprising some of his most thoughtful songs since ALL THINGS MUST PASS..."