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2012 album from the Country singer, songwriter and legend produced by Buddy Cannon. On Heroes, the songs take on a reflective, emotional tone and move from heartfelt (a stunning rendition of Pearl Jam's "Just Breathe") to humor (on "Roll Me Up" with guest vocalist Snoop Dogg). Other guest vocalists on the album include Kris Kristofferson, Merle Haggard, Jamey Johnston, Billy Joe Shaver and Sheryl Crow. Sons Lukas and Micah Nelson also feature prominently, making this a real family affair. This beautiful album, sometimes funny, sometimes poignant, should have broad appeal among Nelson's core fans and followers and beyond.
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Top Customer Reviews
Good songs and classic Willie Nelson style. I highly recommend this CD.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
The album's guests include Merle Haggard, Jamey Johnson, Billy Joe Shaver, Ray Price, and in a bit of stunt-casting, Snoop Dogg. Nelson's voice is more lined with frailty than in his prime, but his idiosyncratic phrasing plays well with the cracks in his tone. He's joined by his son Lukas on eight of the album's tracks, which is a bit much of the junior Nelson's higher, more nasal voice. More impressive are Lukas Nelson's original songs, including the father-son duet "No Place to Fly" and the painful memories continually resurfacing in "Every Time He Drinks He Thinks of Her." The elder Nelson's two new originals include the honky-tonk "Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die" and the western gospel "Come on Back Jesus," each describing an element of Willie's faith. Nelson's still raising hell, albeit in a quieter, more personal way, and drawing on more than fifty years of writing and singing, his music is aging gracefully. 3-3/4 stars, if allowed fractional ratings. [©2012 Hyperbolium]
Enough of the flourishes. This album was best described for content by reviewer: M. Mariba "the teacher" in terms of content.
There's a lot of reflection going on on this album. Songs of songmen grown old and weary, some nearly metaphysical country reality of a song's disolution in "That's all there is to this song" (when your dearly loved lady has gone)
There's some earnest sadness on "Everytime He Drinks He Thinks of Her", reflection on old songsters who don't come around much anymore on "Hero".
"No Place To Fly" is an incredible ode to love lost; Lukas Nelson's voice sounds incredibly similar to ol pops'...I've heard great things about his live shows. Here, some old fashioned stylings dominate, and the blend is wonderful
There are some incredible jams on this album, skiffle, twang, lap steel, incredible chicken pickin swinging solos and swinging drumming...all refreshingly organic and devoid of "contrivance". Reviving "Cold War" somehow seems fine when given another treatment. The band is great, the song order allows for many listens without an urge to blink. "Come On Up To the House" written by Tom Waits and Kathleen Brennan has some stark imagery, a rhythm and tone like that of old school down south R&B gospel. "My Window Faces South" and "Home in San Antone" are rife with that sort of swing, maybe because they harken back to the Classic Country era... I found myself saying "damn! That was some hot ****" just at the songs conclusion, only to hear a studio feed catching Willie saying something similar.
That said, I'm incredibly thrilled with the album, it spans all kinds of emotions like any great album should do... The most fun being on those two cuts and "Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die". The only downside I see is the references throughout to aging (it happens c'mon) and the photo op that has Willie near some swans in a pond/stream... I certainly hope its not a swan song. Where else can you find a countrified songman who lives the spirit of the "everybody"... I've always admired that in the man. God forbid the day comes when there's no new Willie Nelson albums, should they rake out a "hologram" of the man, I'm certain he'll defy logic, science and reason...walk on stage, call out the audience for gawking at him while he follows up with a "you all came here for a show, didn't u?..well so did I. So where's the talent, someone grab me a beer, I wanna see this"... Till he steps out of the light and vanishes.
Things like that happen when you're larger than life onstage, but a humble guy.
I could go on and on, but if you're a fan of Willie Nelson, the odds are in favor of you buying it. One day it will be looked back on with a reflective nod to "classic Willie", if only I could get my hands on "The IRS tapes"...if ur listening, Willie..I'll toss u back a 10 :)