Bruce Robison & Kelly Willis

Beautiful Lie (The Next Waltz)

Texas Platters

After stepping out solo with memorable country recordings over the past two years, Bruce Robison and Kelly Willis re-pair for the couple's fourth LP together and first since 2014's Our Year. The front half of Beautiful Lie offers some of their best genre work together, with each singer taking song leads as they roll into the traded verses of the title track. Willis wrings out every emotion to a single note with an understated power on opener "If I Had a Rose" and the aching waltz of "Nobody's Perfect," while Robison launches the album highlight with a catchy nostalgic trip on Jack Ingram co-write "Astrodome." When the duo finally come together full-on to tackle the Amazing Rhythm Aces' 1975 hit "Beautiful Lie," Robison's easy drawl and Willis' lingering twang fold together as if made for the twining. Likewise, Robison rolls easy into Willis' charmed harmonies on his "Coming Down," the album's back half tapping the hit songwriter for "Heartache to Houston" and swirling B3 organ jam "Brand New Me." Willis dishes her own gem late in the proceedings, trembling the swooning melody of David Ball's "Lost My Best," which the C&W queen sinks into and could have easily lifted into a blowout Eighties power ballad. Austin's reigning country couple remain on a roll and are only getting better.

***.5

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More Bruce Robison & Kelly Willis
Bruce Robison & Kelly Willis Step Into Their Third Act
Bruce Robison & Kelly Willis Step Into Their Third Act
Chronicle Hot Sauce headliners look ahead to the next waltz

Doug Freeman, Aug. 23, 2019

More Music Reviews
Texas Platters
Kinky Friedman
Resurrection (Record Review)

Rick Weaver, Jan. 3, 2020

Texas Platters
The Beaumonts / Hickoids
This Is Austin, All the World's a Dressing Room (Record Review)

Kevin Curtin, Jan. 3, 2020

More by Doug Freeman
New Austin Music Worth Your Bandwidth This Week
New Austin Music Worth Your Bandwidth This Week
What we’re listening to

May 14, 2021

New Austin Music Worth Your Bandwidth This Week
New Austin Music Worth Your Bandwidth This Week
What we’re listening to

May 14, 2021

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Bruce Robison & Kelly Willis

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle