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Willie Nelson

Let's Face the Music and Dance (Song Legacy)

Reviewed by Doug Freeman, Fri., April 12, 2013

Record Review

Willie Nelson

Let's Face the Music and Dance (Sony Legacy)

Following last year's resurgent debut for Sony Legacy, Heroes, Willie Nelson returns with full Family Band intact. The set captures Nelson again transforming the American popular songbook into his own with the ease of his distinctly languorous phrasing and guitar work. Starting in his birth decade with Irving Berlin's title track, the Red Headed Stranger adds a flamenco touch that darkens the edges of his gentle reassurance, which pairs well with the midset "Twilight Time." Absent of new originals, Face the Music revisits Nelson's "Is the Better Part Over," spared the cinematic strings of the original. Bobbie Nelson's piano beautifully backs "You'll Never Know," while instrumentals "Vous et Moi" and Django Reinhardt's "Nuages" are classic, jazzy, Trigger-pulling from the frontman. Carl Perkins' "Matchbox" ups the tempo, and the band romps of "I'll Keep on Loving You" and closer "Shame on You" fill out the sound. An exquisitely contemplative turn into 80.

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