Willie Nelson: Moment of Forever (Lost Highway)

 |   |  1 min read

Willie Nelson:Over You Again
Willie Nelson: Moment of Forever (Lost Highway)

Whether he's singing sentimental songs (like the Kristofferson-penned title track here), evoking some kind of outlaw mentality or harking back to history (his take on Randy Newman's Louisiana here lightly updated to make it more relevant post-Katrina) there is still something magical about Willie's vocals.

He slides behind a beat to give a lazy and jazzy quality, his twanging vocal style has an earthy and honest resonance, and given the right material he can deliver albums of great emotional impact.

This one is two-thirds of such an album: with Kenny Chesney co-producing Willie is thrown into some interesting and sometimes gritty musical settings but not all (notably the lame Bob Song that Chesney wrote) are successful.

Much of the material here is -- in one way or another -- reflective as you might expect: a life lived in sunshine but the colours starting to fade is a lovely image which he pulls off with casual confidence. When the ballad material is as strong as that (and it mostly is) then Willie excels and discreet Tex-Mex acoustic guitar touches, subtle backing vocals and soft harmonica make for some real delights: his own Always Now is a leisurely classic.

However he fires off some hard-hitting salvos with the musically disconcerting opener Over You Again, a monochrome roll through Dave Matthews' Gravedigger and the funky Takin' on Water -- all highlights of the upbeat tracks.

The closer (bar the hidden track) is his take on Dylan's Gotta Serve Somebody, which is among the weaker tracks.

But at his age -- he's 75 -- it is hard to believe that he should not only be still recording -- but singing this well, and still pushing a few envelopes.

Real good. For a collection of reviews of earlier Nelson albums and an interview check the tag.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

Roy Harper: Songs of Love and Loss (Union Square)

Roy Harper: Songs of Love and Loss (Union Square)

English folk-rocker Harper – now 70 – is much eulogised by senior (male) British rock critics and has latterly been hailed by the neo-folk movement (Fleet Foxes, Devendra Banhart,... > Read more

Pet Shop Boys: Electric (x2)

Pet Shop Boys: Electric (x2)

The PSBoys' aural fingerprint is so distinctive that it might be possible to go two ways on this one. You could say "heard it all before" in terms of dancefloor-directed beats, cool... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

THE BARGAIN BUY: The White Stripes; Elephant

THE BARGAIN BUY: The White Stripes; Elephant

For many people Elephant from '03 was the White Stripes' "break-out" album, the one which took them well out of cult status and into their living room. With material as strong as Seven... > Read more

THE BARGAIN BUY: Weather Report; I Sing the Body Electric (Sony)

THE BARGAIN BUY: Weather Report; I Sing the Body Electric (Sony)

One jazz encyclopedia says of this, the second album by the Joe Zawinul-Wayne Shorter lead fusion group -- "everyting about I Sing the Body Electric was very 1972 . . . the brilliant sci-fi... > Read more