Monday, January 28, 2008

Willie Nelson - Phases and Stages

I'd say that this is probably my favourite Nelson studio album by a fair bit. I'm not quite sure why, considering the albums that surround it are just about as good (those are Shotgun Willie and Red Headed Stranger if you like the songs below and want more), and when I say good I mean great, it's just that this one is so succinct (30 minutes), every song is a stormer and it's just a very fine pop record with few flaws. It's a concept album of sorts, telling the story of a marriage breaking down. so on the first half we have the woman's story, and on the second we have Willie's. It's all self written compositions, the production is sweet and clean without sounding too Nashville-sound cheese and putting off those of us used to more 'alt' sounds. I'd just like the mention actually how irritating I find the alt-country genre name nowadays. A lot of the time it just seems to be a name for people to use if they're too cool for school to properly dig country, and for bands to use when they can't write catchy enough songs. This is proper country, and it's a great piece of work, the Jerry Wexler production just right for this point in Nelson's career. Perfect hungover/summers day country haze.

Willie Nelson - Bloody Mary Morning
Willie Nelson - I Still Can't Believe You're Gone
Willie Nelson - Pretend I Never Happened


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