Review : WILLIE NELSON - Songbird
Entertainment WeeklyAmerica's greatest living ballad singer is notoriously inconsistent ó just listen to last year's ghastly reggae experiment, Countryman. But Songbird, a collaboration with Ryan Adams (who produced and lent his backing band) is Willie Nelson's finest in a decade. The sound is burly, surrounding his inimitable lilt with shuddering electric guitars. But the slow and stately stuff really sparkles, such as a weirdly menacing cover of ''Amazing Grace'' and the new Nelson composition ''Back to Earth,'' which proves the old troubadour can still write the best weepers around.
PitchForkWhen Willie Nelson began his ascent to country music stardom in the 1970s, he managed to corral two types of fans. The first group was the rednecks, drawn to Willie's country sound and perhaps even his pedigree as the guy who wrote "Crazy" for Patsy Cline; and the second group was the hippies, who saw Willie as one of their own: a long-haired, scruffy-bearded pot-smoker with a propensity for traditional music. Thirty years later, Nelson's audience has expanded beyond those two polar demographics, and the man himself has become such an icon that he can put out lackluster albums like Milk Cow Blues or Countryman without taking a hit. So he's free to follow his muse wherever it leads, whether it's to Jamaica or to the Delta.
PopmattersCritics poke fun at Willie Nelsonís willingness to record with anybody. Itís probably more difficult to come up with the name of a popular musician the long-haired Texan hasnít recorded with than it is to name one with whom he has duetted. And the results havenít always been aesthetically rewarding, though the majority have. Country purists scoffed at this collaboration with the younger alt-country/rock musician Ryan Adams before it was even made....full text
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