That's All There Is to This Song
Nearing 80 years old, Willie Nelson is at an interesting juncture in his career. He's earned the right to make country music the way he remembers it—with a lilting Texas swing in its step—and he does. Nelson was also the great country artist who never let genres stop him. His Stardust collection made the crossover from country to pop standards feel as natural as breathing. So it really shouldn't be that much of a surprise when Nelson invites his son, Lukas, to sing on the majority of the record (he deserves co-billing), or when he enlists the help of Snoop Dogg and Kris Kristofferson to croon on "Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die." Nelson the songwriter and Nelson the interpreter have made him Nelson the legend. No matter who's joining him here or whose song it is, the performances stand on their own; Coldplay's "The Scientist" and Eddie Vedder's "Just Breathe" become every bit Nelson tunes. Fiddles, acoustic guitars, and pedal steel all combine with that iconic voice to make a classic country album.