Willie Nelson

The Kenny Chesney co-produced Moment of Forever seeks to modernize Willie Nelson's iconic sound by inserting the Red Headed Stranger's distinct vocals into a series of flush, Nashville-tinted arrangements. A decidedly bleak collection laced with dark tones and darker themes (social malady, death and Hurricane Katrina are all covered here), tracks like an Americana-infused take on Dave Matthews's "Gravedigger" showcase the 74-year-old singer's talent for assimilating material into his own unique style. Too often, however, the album's pop-country drum tracks and driving electric guitars distract from the nuance-filled character of Nelson's legendary voice, and the album quickly slips from sonically misguided to artistically awkward on cuts such as "The Bob Song," about a pirate named Bob. The tune features an intro by Big & Rich's "Big Kenny" Alphin that's equal parts creepy and bizarre, and finds Nelson almost shouting lyrics like "B-O-B Bob was a drunken old slob."


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