Willie Nelson - Freedom
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Freedom (Sony Legacy, 2012)

Willie Nelson

Reviewed by Bob Gottlieb

Willie Nelson's new disc is an interesting mixture of songs and contains some most unlikely collaborations. Did you ever envision Kris Kristofferson and Snoop Dogg doing a duet or Willie doing a song by either Coldplay or Pearl Jam? Give Nelson credit for being able to recognize a good song or an unlikely partner and have it work out. The unlikely pair of Kristofferson and Dogg team up on Willie's so poetic Roll Me Up And Smoke Me When I Die . Listen to the brilliant interpretation of Pearl Jam's Just Breathe, it takes the song to a different realm and takes on a new significance.

The disc contains only three new Nelson compositions, which is not necessarily a negative. His interpretations of others' songs is stellar and he shows this with Fred Rose's classic Home In San Antone , and also his take on Coldplay's The Scientist, is a wonderful reminder of how great this man's vision can be.

Lukas Nelson, one of Willie's sons is all over this disc - he wrote three songs, sang and played guitar. Lukas has that same kind of reedy vibrato as his father, but in a slightly higher pitch, instantly recognizable. Micah Nelson, another of Willie's offspring contributes also. And before you cry nepotism remember he had his sister, Bobbi, playing keyboards on and off for years in his band in the 80's. Make no mistake though this is Willie's disc, and a very good one. One of the reasons that Nelson has had this longevity, aside from his songwriting and his singing is his ability to take chances that others would call ridiculous and transpose them into projects that are successful and generally leave many scratching their heads.

CDs by Willie Nelson

The Border, 2024 Bluegrass, 2023 Don't Know A Thing About Love, 2023 A Beautiful Time, 2022 That's Life, 2021 First Rose of Spring, 2020 Ride Me Back Home, 2019 My Way, 2018 Last Man Standing, 2018 Willie's Stash Volume 2, 2017 God's Problem Child, 2017 Summertime Willie Nelson Sings Gershwin, 2016 Band of Brothers, 2014 To All the Girls..., 2013 Let's Face the Music and Dance, 2013 Freedom, 2012 Remember Me Vol. 1, 2011 Country Music, 2010 American Classic, 2009 Lost Highway, 2009 Naked Willie, 2009 One Hell of a Ride, 2008 Moment of Forever, 2008 Songbird, 2006 Live From Austin, TX, 2006 Songs of Cindy Walker, 2006 You Don't Know Me: The Songs of Cindy Walker, 2006

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