Willie Nelson – Last Man Standing (2018)

I’ll admit that I was unfamiliar with Willie Nelson albums until this one, which I decided to listen to after hearing “Lay Me Down,” his terrific duet with Loretta Lynn off her 2016 album “Full Circle.” What I wasn’t expecting from Nelson’s music was how much fun it can be: The rockabilly twangs are truly infectious and toe-tapping, like on tracks like “Bad Breath,” “Ready to Roar” and “She Made Mt Day.” But it’s the softer, quieter moments that highlight just how poignant Nelson’s lyrics and vocal delivery are, like “Something You Get Through,” “I’ll Try To Do Better Next Time” and the titular track. In particular, “I’ll Try To Do Better Next Time” has a terrific, melancholy melody, and is filled with emotional candor and clear-eyed self-awareness. It’s a great album that barely passes the half-hour mark but makes a strong impression in a short amount of time.

Rating: ★★★★ (out of 5)

 

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