God’s Problem Child (Vinyl Release)

Willie Nelson

Legacy, 2017

REVIEW BY: David Bowling

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 05/24/2017

Willie Nelson is like Old Man River; he just keeps rolling along. At the age of 84, he has returned with one of the better albums of his career, titled God’s Problem Child. Lately, he has relied on cover songs and albums dedicated to other people’s music, but here, all 13 tracks are newly recorded songs, including seven co-written by Nelson.nbtc__dv_250

While my copy of the album is on vinyl and has a crystal-clear sound, this has also been released digitally and as a CD.

Nelson is now considered an American musical icon. His voice is instantly recognizable and he has the ability to interpret songs from many different styles. His voice may have lost a little of its power, but he makes up for that fact with wonderful phrasing.

His new album travels in a number of directions. There have been a number of reports of Nelson’s death recently, and “Still Not Dead” finds him making fun of the situation. The more serious “Delete And Fast-Forward” features his thoughts about the recent Presidential election.

There are two tracks that reflect Nelson’s age. The title track includes a vocal performance by Leon Russell, in what may have been his last performance before his death. The album’s final track, “He Won’t Ever Be Gone,” is his eulogy to friend and fellow-country musician Merle Haggard.

Perhaps the best track here is “Little House On The Hill.” It was written by the 92 year old Lyndel Rhodes, who is the mother of producer Buddy Cannon. It is a classic Nelson performance.

That Willie Nelson is still recording and performing about 100 concerts a years in his mid-eighties is remarkable. That he is able to create such a high quality album is a testament to his talent as one of country music’s most creative musicians. God’s Problem Child is a must-listen for his fan base and lovers of country music.

Rating: A-

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