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Willie Nelson

Moment of Forever (Lost Highway)

Reviewed by Dan Oko, Fri., Jan. 18, 2008

Texas Platters

Willie Nelson

Moment of Forever (Lost Highway)

With Willie Nelson staring at three-quarters of a century on the earth, the question "What Would Willie Do?" is no longer a riddle: Keep making music. Lately, ATX's country & western ambassador has made middling music with Ryan Adams and great music with Ray Price and Merle Haggard. Longtime fans can be forgiven their trepidation that the new Moment of Forever, primarily another covers LP, was produced by former Renée Zellweger boy toy Kenny Chesney. If the title invokes eternity, the album doesn't get there, but the bestselling, Knoxville-born beach bum understands what gets Nelson going and has curated a heartening album. The pairing is formally exonerated around the time the two start trading verses on Guy Clark/Lee Roy Parnell number "Worry B Gone." Randy Newman's "Louisiana" and a searing version of Dylan's "Gotta Serve Somebody," backed by a crack band and a blast of brass, make it clear that Nelson's already suffering a case of election-year blues. The problem with the backing is that Chesney's Nashville rock overwhelms his elder statesman, yet, as has happened throughout Willie's career, he sounds better and better with every spin. Just be sure to stick around for both versions of "You Don't Think I'm Funny Anymore."

**.5

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