Review - Willie Nelson, God's Problem Child

Susan Omand has done another pick of the new releases and listened to Willie Nelson's latest album, God's Problem Child...

I’m starting to look forward to “new releases” day so that I can find something completely unknown, new and different to...

Oh, who the hell am I trying to kid?

This is Willie Nelson. I’ve been listening to his music since I was knee high to a very short thing. He sang the songs that my dad taught me to quickstep to. He sang the songs that accompanied “the Friday dram” with my mother as we did the cryptic crossword at the kitchen table. His music has always been the soundtrack to my homelife. And now, as he and his faithful guitar, Trigger, get to a certain age, I realise that new music from Willie Nelson is something I’m not going to have for much longer so I cherish each and every new release. And I had to listen to this.

The album is... just exactly what I expected it to be, in a very, very good way. The very first track The Little House on the Hill is nostalgia ridden both personally and lyrically, a strict tempo quickstep, good old fashioned country music with a guitar break from Trigger that just makes you smile. And the final track on the album, He Won’t Ever Be Gone, although quite upbeat sounding, is the most heartfelt tribute to the late great Merle Haggard, with whom Willie Nelson shared a stage on so many occasions and harks back to their long friendship and work together.

In fact there’s a recurring nod to nostalgia and mortality throughout all the songs the album, with a beautifully bleak melancholy feel to a lot of the slower tracks like Old Timer and True Love. You can hear the weight of time in his voice on occasions but it fits with the lyrics so well. This is a man comfortable with his lot. It’s not all doom and gloom though, as there’s still a bit of that Spanish heat in A Woman’s Love and some of the political sideswiping that he is so good at in Delete and Fast Forward.

My favourite track on the album though has to be Still Not Dead. It lightens the mood and pokes fun at the current trend of internet death hoaxes but I’m all too aware that someday the news is going to be very real. Till then though...

Don't bury me, I've got a show to play
And I woke up still not dead again today

Image - Amazon

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