30 January 2008

Willie Nelson - "Moment of Forever"

Moment of Forever
Willie Nelson
Original release date: 29 January 2008
CD list price: $13.98

Moment of Forever was produced by Kenny Chesney, and before the groans start, it should be noted that the album is easily the most enjoyable work Willie Nelson has done since 2005's Countryman.  Chesney has a penchant for reflective songs, and in Willie's capable hands they work extremely well, whether they be the Randy Newman penned "Louisiana" (re-contextualized as an angry look at the devastation wrought by Hurricane Katrina and the federal government's handling of it) or Bob Dylan's "Gotta Serve Somebody," the choices are generally thought provocative.  Of course, no Willie album would be complete without some humor, and Moment of Forever features two amusing diversions: "You Don't Think I'm Funny Anymore" (an outtake of which appears as a hidden bonus track at the end of the album) and Big & Rich's "The Bob Song," with guest vocal by Big Kenny.

For fans who actually like Kenny Chesney, "Worry B Gone" is a duet between artist and producer.  It won't surprise any fans of Chesney, what with it's "off to the islands to get away from it all" theme, yet somehow it feels as natural for Willie to sing the song as it does for Chesney.  Perhaps that's because of Willie's well-established anti-stress lifestyle, or perhaps it's because of Countryman that an island-flavored tune is perfectly welcome on an album by one of the greatest living Outlaw legend.Will Moment of Forever, with its "Gravedigger" cover, be canonized with Johnny Cash's American IV: The Man Comes Around or Loretta Lynn's Van Lear Rose?  Probably not, but it's an enjoyable album that manages to do something Willie hasn't done in a while: surprise the listener throughout the album.

Note: I received this CD free as member of the Lost Highway Street Team.

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