Top positive review
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An album which illustrates all the variety of Willie Nelson
on October 8, 1999
A superb tour of modern songs written by such established singer/songwriters as Paul Simon,Lyle Lovett,Peter Gabriel,Bob Dylan and Nelson himself. From the opening track,Paul Simons "American Tune",the album just grew on me, and after a few plays I became convinced this song had been written especially for Nelson himself so complete is his rendition. While all the duets on the album work most satisfactorily I thought Dylan and Nelson were a terrific pairing for their self penned track "Heartland" Those who prefer Willie Nelson of the basic variety,complete with the famous haunting vocals,guitar, and little else, are well catered for with his own composition"Valentine". While enjoyable I prefered his raunchy version of Paul Simons "Graceland" which could be compared to some of his foot-tapping cover versions of such classics as "South of the Border" "All of Me" "City of New Orleans" or his own"On the Road Again" For the traditional country fan I felt Lyle Lovetts"Farther down the Line" struck the right note;was totally enjoyable the first time I heard it and still produces the same reaction today.Ry Cooders title track"Across The Borderline" is masterly performed by Willie Nelson, yet strangely I found it was the lyrics which attracted my immediate attention and not the melody:-it usually happens the other way round for me! Although I must admit to having a broad grin on my face listening to"I love the life I live" for the first time,and since, by thinking"hes singing the story of his life and probably with a big smile on his face!! This album is superbly produced with a multitude of top drawer performers providing excellent musicianship which combines beautifully with the strong material to provide an album which illustrates the range,variety,and adaptability of Willie Nelson as a performer. Thouroughly recommended for both the fan or as a terrific sampler for someone who wants to experience what Willie Nelson and his work is all about.