Some of Nelson’s most affecting
performances over his lengthy
career have been courtesy of songs
written by Kris Kristofferson (Help
Me Make It Through The Night, For
The Good Times), and to find the two old warhorses reunited on the
title track is truly joyous. It’s a
stunning few minutes, poignant
and poetic, a delicate accordion-led
ballad that goes straight to the
heart and the tear ducts.
Unfortunately, the rest of the
album struggles to escape from
that one mighty tune’s shadow.
Part of the problem might be
Kenny Chesney’s all-too-clinical
production, but simplistic cookie-cutter
ditties such as I’m Alive and
Worry B Gone hardly warrant any
special treatment in the first place.
Randy Newman’s Louisiana is
given a lyrical update in the light of
Hurricane Katrina (Bush replacing
the President Coolidge of the
original), although Willie seems
disconnected from the song, as if
he’s reading the new words off a
teleprompter for the first time. The
voice is still there, though, and it’s
a safe bet he’s still got a couple
more classy albums in his system.
This isn’t one of them, sadly.