Release Date: Oct 7, 2016
Record label: Columbia
As Orson Welles and Hunter Thompson have famously noted, we are born alone and we die alone. It’s a frightening prospect, as it implies that the things that give meaning to our lives—our family, friends, passions, etc.—do not follow us into the grave. So how do you think Barry Gibb, the only remaining Bee Gee, feels about this? For the majority of his life, he has been a co-writer and shared-harmony singer.
The last surviving Bee Gee’s second solo album (and first in 32 years) understandably echoes the band’s world-famous music. Gibb’s sons Stephen and Ashley fill the late Robin and Maurice’s giant shoes and reproduce trademark harmonies around Gibb’s quivering lead vocals. However, where the Bee Gees’ catalogue runs the gamut from beat pop to disco, Gibb’s solo songs rattle between balladry, country and rock.
With a legendary career both with the Bee Gees and as a songwriter and producer outside the group, it seems somehow impossible that 2016's In the Now is only Barry Gibb's second true solo album. Working with his sons Steve and Ashley, recording in the studios where the Gibb brothers made their classic mid-'70s hits, still haunted by the deaths of his three brothers, the album is a family affair and the songs feel like they are true statements of where Barry Gibb stands as he reaches the back stretch of his life. The lyrics speak of journeys and memories, death and rebirth, sadness and the comfort of lasting love, all sung in a voice battered by the years.