Country Music - Willie Nelson
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Generally favorable reviews - based on 15 Critics What's this?

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  • Summary: The latest album for the country singer produced by T Bone Burnett features popular bluegrass, country, and folk songs.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 15
  2. Negative: 0 out of 15
  1. While you'll wait in vain for Nelson's own songs, which have gotten increasingly rare as the years go by, this is easily the new millennium's most effective showcase of the gifts that Nelson's reputation rests upon.
  2. The natural, gloss-free sound clears the way for Willie's voice, as cozy as an old pair of slippers; the 77-year-old singer's persona is inseparable from any song he sings, even when he's never sung it before and even when it's cruise-ship reggae.
  3. Helmed by producer T Bone Burnett, this is front-porch, rural and rustic country music. Nelson is perfect in this setting, however, as he brings his weathered but expressive pipes to percussion-less arrangements of such gems as Ernest Tubb's "Seaman's Blues," Merle Travis' miner's lament "Dark As a Dungeon" and the smooth stride of Bob Wills' "Gotta Walk Alone."
  4. It's the spectacular collection of songs as much as Burnett's ace production and Nelson's first-rate performances that elevates Country Music above the recent spate of country covers records and makes the album an essential addition to Nelson's rich catalogue.
  5. Throughout the album, Burnett's players (including guitarist Buddy Miller and Jim Lauderdale on harmony vocals) cushion Nelson's singing with warm string-band arrangements that never overpower his understated delivery.
  6. Mr. Nelson is happy to throw tradition by the wayside, let's just say. When those whims lead him to a producer with a particular vision, there can be some serious synergy, and that's definitely the case here.
  7. His latest album, Country Music, is Willie at his finest, characteristically understated and effortless.

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