Reviewed by Dan Oko, Fri., Sept. 7, 2012
Willie NelsonHeroes (Legacy)
At 79, Willie Nelson rebounds from spotty recent additions to his catalog, including 2006's Songbird and Moment of Forever two years later. Featuring a roster that includes Sheryl Crow, Merle Haggard, and Snoop Dogg, Heroes draws 14 tracks from songwriters as varied as the late Jerry Livingston, Tom Waits, and Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder. Snoop's inclusion on the sly, funny "Roll Me Up," which also boasts Jamey Johnson and Kris Kristofferson trading verses about an unorthodox cremation, isn't as gratuitous as it sounds. In fact, with that drawl, the Dogg might have a second career as a country singer. Elsewhere, Willie relies on the songwriting talent of his son Lukas, an emerging star in his own right. The father-and-son duet on the younger musician's "Every Time He Drinks He Thinks of Her" stands out. It's a heroic effort all around, and maybe that's the point.