It Always Will Be

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David McGee
Released on the coattails of his star-studded 70th birthday celebration, Outlaws & Angels, this stripped-down disc is for slow dancing and late-night cuddling. It Will Always Be finds Willie focusing his efforts on spare, mostly acoustic songs of enduring love and piercing heartbreak; his nuanced readings evoke the quiet interpretive power of his 1978 masterpiece, the standards album Stardust. He duets with Norah Jones on a cool, piano-bar treatment of "Dreams Come True," she giving it her silkiest Billie Holiday reading as he returns the loving sentiments with delicate, shaded precision. Willie trades poignant verses with Lucinda Williams on a cover of her breakup ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David McGee
Released on the coattails of his star-studded 70th birthday celebration, Outlaws & Angels, this stripped-down disc is for slow dancing and late-night cuddling. It Will Always Be finds Willie focusing his efforts on spare, mostly acoustic songs of enduring love and piercing heartbreak; his nuanced readings evoke the quiet interpretive power of his 1978 masterpiece, the standards album Stardust. He duets with Norah Jones on a cool, piano-bar treatment of "Dreams Come True," she giving it her silkiest Billie Holiday reading as he returns the loving sentiments with delicate, shaded precision. Willie trades poignant verses with Lucinda Williams on a cover of her breakup ballad "Over Time," strengthened by tasty acoustic guitar, discrete pedal steel, minimalist piano, and a slight wash of accordion chording. Willie steps up the pace on the acerbic kiss-off "Big Boody" -- driven by a cascade of pedal steel notes, crying dobro retorts, thumping drums, and a twangy guitar -- and the dance hall foot stomper "I Didn't Come Here And I Ain't Leaving," with Willie's honeyed voice rising up out of the furious swirl of harmonica, pedal steel, and electric guitars to sweetly suggest, "Why don't you pucker up / I got just the place for you to kiss." In the end, though, It Will Always Be is yet another display of Willie's incomparable balladry, illustrated by country tear-jerkers such as "My Broken Heart Belongs to You" and the Spanish-inflected, heart-tugging title track, which evoke the austere majesty of his Crazy: The Demo Sessions, in both feel and the deeply felt emotions informing each note the Red Headed Stranger warbles.
All Music Guide - Thom Jurek
On his millionth album or does it just feel that way?, Willie Nelson teams with a new band -- except for Family Band harmonicat Mickey Raphael -- and duets with some major leaguers. Most of the time, It Always Will Be feels like a Willie album of old. Recorded for the Lost Highway label and produced by James Stroud in Nash Vegas, it's an inspired collection of fine songs for the most part, and Nelson is in fine voice with the edges beginning to show just a tiny bit. He wrote the title cut, one of the strongest here. Lyrically, it's tender without being overly sentimental, sweet without being saccharine, and delivered with his trademark elegance and grace. The cover of Tom Waits and Kathleen Brennan's "Picture in a Frame," though faithful, puts Nelson's stamp firmly on it. With Raphael's harmonica, Willie's acoustic, and a skeletal band featuring an understated pedal steel, Nelson's dignity in the delivery is deeply moving. When he's this on fire, the only place he usually blows it is in duets -- at least on his own records. There are duets here. "Be That As It May," with daughter Paula and written by her, is just a gorgeous country song. The pair's voices contrast beautifully and the tune itself is tight and hooky in a Texas country music way. "Dreams Come True," with Norah Jones, is a pretty swing tune that is forgettable but far from offensive, and Lucinda Williams is the star on her own "Overtime." Willie and Lucinda were made to sing together; the melancholy of the tune lends itself well to her whiskey contralto and his easy baritone. The tune sweetly drifts and lilts with swaying guitars, an accordion, and whispering brushwork. Toby Keith makes an appearance singing background vocals on his "Tired," but Nelson makes the song his own. Nelson's "Texas" is a wonderful mariachi blues song that gives way to bittersweet Southwestern honky tonk balladry and showcases his excellent guitar work. The set closes with the album's only dog, a big-beat over-produced dancy punch-up of Gregg Allman's classic "Midnight Rider." It sucks bad. Why this song made the cut is a mystery, but it's a typical thing for Nelson, to add something that just doesn't fit. Thankfully, it's the album's final song and can be skipped. Be that as it may, It Always Will Be is the best outing for Nelson since Teatro.
Entertainment Weekly - Chris Willman
Nelson's first full-on, first-rate solo record in ages. (B+)

Nelson's first full-on, first-rate solo record in ages. (B+)
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 10/26/2004
  • Label: Lost Highway
  • UPC: 602498624203
  • Catalog Number: 000257602

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 It Always Will Be (4:11)
  2. 2 Picture in a Frame (3:39)
  3. 3 The Way You See Me (4:21)
  4. 4 Be That as It May - Paula Nelson (3:29)
  5. 5 You Were It (4:28)
  6. 6 Big Booty (3:03)
  7. 7 I Didn't Come Here (And I Ain't Leavin') (3:10)
  8. 8 My Broken Heart Belongs to You (2:26)
  9. 9 Dreams Come True - Norah Jones (4:35)
  10. 10 Overtime - Lucinda Williams (3:45)
  11. 11 Tired (4:19)
  12. 12 Love's the One and Only Thing (3:34)
  13. 13 Texas (3:55)
  14. 14 Midnight Rider - Toby Keith (3:00)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Willie Nelson Primary Artist, Acoustic Guitar, Vocals
Lucinda Williams Vocals
Matt Rollings Piano, Keyboards
Mickey Raphael Harmonica
Toby Keith Background Vocals
Eddie Bayers Drums
Dan Dugmore Pedal Steel Guitar
Chris Dunn Horn
Shannon Forrest Drums
Paul Franklin Pedal Steel Guitar, Steel Guitar
Kenny Greenberg Electric Guitar
Jim Horn Horn
Clayton Ivey Piano, Keyboards
Sam Levine Horn
Liana Manis Background Vocals
Brent Mason Electric Guitar
Steve Nathan Piano, Keyboards
Steve Patrick Horn
Michael Rhodes Bass, Bass Guitar
Biff Watson Acoustic Guitar
Glenn Worf Bass
Scotty Emerick Acoustic Guitar
Amy James Background Vocals
Wes Hightower Background Vocals
Norah Jones Vocals
Paula Nelson Vocals
Shannon Forest Drums
Technical Credits
Willie Nelson Composer
Gregg Allman Composer
Dave Loggins Composer
Tom Waits Composer
Lucinda Williams Composer
Jimmy Day Composer
Toby Keith Composer
Craig Allen Art Direction
Kathleen Brennan Composer
Chuck Cannon Composer
J.C. Hopkins Composer
Julian King Engineer
Robert Payne Composer
Michael Smotherman Composer
James Stroud Producer, Audio Production
Sonny Throckmorton Composer
Dave Zettner Illustrations
Rusty Adams Composer
Scotty Emerick Composer
Paula Nelson Composer
David Anderson Composer
Hank Williams Mastering
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    My favorite Willie Nelson!

    Have been listening to this wonderful cd over and over. Perfectly mellow and moving lyrics and guitar. Find myself craving to listen to the song "Texas", it has a haunting guitar rift. Great duets with Norah, Paula and Lucinda. If you like Willie, you will love this cd!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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