A Beautiful Time

A Beautiful Time

Released on Willie Nelson’s 89th birthday, A Beautiful Time testifies to the country icon’s enduring talent and astounding longevity. Perhaps it’s no surprise that mortality is on the mind throughout, but Willie doesn’t get too maudlin about it—the album opens with the sweet, slow-rolling “I’ll Love You Till The Day I Die” and touches on country funk for the celebratory “I Don’t Go To Funerals.” He makes some beautiful cover choices, too, offering a twilit take on Leonard Cohen’s “Tower Of Song” and kicking up the dust on The Beatles’ “With A Little Help From My Friends.” The full weight of Nelson’s life experiences permeate A Beautiful Time, but no more so than on the intimate curtain-closer “Leave You With A Smile,” as he sings, “If I run out of time, I’ll wait for you in the sweet by-and-by.”

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