Milk Cow Blues - Willie Nelson

Mixed or average reviews - based on 10 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 10
  2. Negative: 1 out of 10
  1. The surprise is how extraordinarily well it all fits together, songs and guest vocalists pulled from all over the landscape, all blues and all inescapably Willie.
  2. It plays like an enjoyable variety show, since, as opposed to star turns, Willie's company puts in guest appearances, creating a strange mixture of not enough or a little too much (save for Willie's solo turns).
  3. Fortunately, for most of the album, the soft-but-solid Austin backing band assembled by guitarist/co-producer Derek O'Brien is as well seasoned as Nelson, and shares his gift for making a little go a long way. And, ultimately, the best tracks may well be those sung by Willie alone.
  4. 70
    If there is one drawback to this album, it is its somewhat overproduced nature. A little too clean and a little too short, Milk Cow Blues shows glimpses of what could have been, an all-star cast jamming to Willie classics and traditional blues like "The Thrill Is Gone" and "Ain't Nobody's Business."
  5. Like everything else he plays, Nelson's blues are unforced and natural.... The result is emotionally rich, musically savory and languidly blue from end to end.
  6. 70
    Nelson makes his competition sound like thin parodies... he burns the melody down to ashes, never letting a howl do what a moan can do better. [Nov. 2000, p.208]
  7. A sterling showcase for Nelson's bluesier side ?
  8. The duets always seem like an intrusion to his musical vision, especially since everybody except Dr. John oversells these songs, singing like a cliché instead of finding their own sound. It's all the more frustrating because Nelson really does find his voice on each song here, a fact that's apparent on the three songs he has to himself...
  9. Nelson's voice, silky enough to sing standards, lacks the vocal grit for the blues, and he rarely works up enough energy to milk the titular cow. Most of these songs are better suited for a supper club than for a juke joint. [Oct 2, 2000]
  10. 10
    Misconceived is the polite word.

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