10 Songs, 34 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Don Williams has been country music's mellow-voiced "gentle giant" since the '70s, but he took a long hiatus from recording before 2012's And So It Goes, his highest-charting album since the '80s. The follow-up, Reflections, came around much more quickly. Like its predecessor, it's among the classiest of Williams's latter-day recordings (no small feat). In what could be seen as a nod to his 1981 hit duet with Emmylou Harris on Townes Van Zandt's "If I Needed You," Williams opens Reflections with another Townes tune, the romantically reassuring "I'll Be Here in the Morning." Later on, he shows his way with a cover of even more classic vintage, tackling Merle Haggard's gospel-tinged death-row ballad "Sing Me Back Home." But it's not just the covers that come through here—the gentle bounce of "Talk Is Cheap" (cowritten by Townes's old running buddy Guy Clark), the trenchant, twangy mission statement "Back to the Simple Things," and the easygoing, philosophical closer "The Answer" all attest to Williams's perennial powers as a warmly magnetic country crooner.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Don Williams has been country music's mellow-voiced "gentle giant" since the '70s, but he took a long hiatus from recording before 2012's And So It Goes, his highest-charting album since the '80s. The follow-up, Reflections, came around much more quickly. Like its predecessor, it's among the classiest of Williams's latter-day recordings (no small feat). In what could be seen as a nod to his 1981 hit duet with Emmylou Harris on Townes Van Zandt's "If I Needed You," Williams opens Reflections with another Townes tune, the romantically reassuring "I'll Be Here in the Morning." Later on, he shows his way with a cover of even more classic vintage, tackling Merle Haggard's gospel-tinged death-row ballad "Sing Me Back Home." But it's not just the covers that come through here—the gentle bounce of "Talk Is Cheap" (cowritten by Townes's old running buddy Guy Clark), the trenchant, twangy mission statement "Back to the Simple Things," and the easygoing, philosophical closer "The Answer" all attest to Williams's perennial powers as a warmly magnetic country crooner.

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