Moment of Forever

Moment of Forever

3.5 2
by Willie Nelson
     
 

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Here's Willie taking a bit of a hard left again, enlisting Music Row veteran Buddy Cannon and mainstream superstar Kenny Chesney as co-producers and coming up with an album that reflects sensibilities ranging from coffeehouse intimate to arena grandeur. Willie's self-penned tearjerker "Over You Again" starts things off on a mysterious, ethereal note, with ghostly… See more details below

Overview

Here's Willie taking a bit of a hard left again, enlisting Music Row veteran Buddy Cannon and mainstream superstar Kenny Chesney as co-producers and coming up with an album that reflects sensibilities ranging from coffeehouse intimate to arena grandeur. Willie's self-penned tearjerker "Over You Again" starts things off on a mysterious, ethereal note, with ghostly sound swirling all around him and a lonely, crying guitar punctuating his vocals. From this wrenching moment he dives into Kris Kristofferson's "Moment of Forever," a decidedly more charitable view of an old flame's persistence in memory, dominated by acoustic guitar and piano, redolent of a cabaret song. The navel-gazing done, Willie then goes for the gusto in a series of boisterous, rock- and soul-fueled songs such as the jittery, southern soul-style workout "Takin' On Water," and a bluesy duet with Chesney on "Worry B Gone," a slithery, laid-back number penned jointly by Guy Clark, Gary Nicholson, and Lee Roy Parnell. On a topical note, Randy Newman's ever-relevant ballad "Louisiana," with its chilling line, "Louisiana, they're trying to wash us away," is a poignant evocation of enduring troubles, with Willie sermonizing over a church piano before the full band enters with a nuanced, heart-tugging background hum; and the album closes in stirring fashion with a percolating version of Bob Dylan's "Gotta Serve Somebody," with a protesting horn section and Mickey Raphael's harmonica moans accenting -- or railing against -- the lyrics' assertion that everything has a price, metaphysical or otherwise, out in the material world. To which a bemused Willie, rolling on, seems to say, "Send me the bill."

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
There's an old axiom that Martin Scorsese often recites when explaining his career choices, citing that you first make a movie for the studio, then you make one for yourself. Willie Nelson has almost been following that creed while toiling away on Lost Highway in the 2000s, alternating between old-fashioned country records for his old fans, then star-studded collaborations aimed at a newer audiences. As Nelson is a musical omnivore, such stylistic hopscotch didn't feel forced, even when Willie ventured into such ill-advised experiments as the 2005 reggae excursion The Countryman, yet it nevertheless felt that he'd sing anything that came his way. Moment of Forever, the 2008 album produced by modern-day superstar Kenny Chesney and his longtime comrade Buddy Cannon, doesn't erase that impression, as it's wildly inconsistent in mood and material, finding room for sensitive songs from Kris Kristofferson and boorish tunes from Big Kenny, half of Nashville titans Big & Rich. Big Kenny's lazy, slobbering "The Bob Song" is everything that could go wrong with Willie singing a contemporary country record, suggesting that the very idea behind Moment of Forever -- to give Nelson his first full-fledged modern country album in eons -- is misconceived, but the album actually is far slyer than this misstep would suggest. Yes, this attempt at the Muzk Mafia's gonzo humor doesn't work, nor is it the only awkward moment here; it's paired with a moribund reading of Dave Matthews' "Gravedigger," where Willie valiantly attempts to navigate Matthews' twisting prose but to no avail. Both "The Bob Song" and "Gravedigger" are signs that Chesney and Cannon are in tune with modern markets that would be open to embracing Willie, so they work in conception if not execution. Fortunately, they're also in tune with much of the best of Nelson's music, giving him room to sing such finely modulated originals as "Over You Again" and "Always Now" (the latter balancing Chesney's slightly treacly "I'm Alive") and a lovely reading of Paul Craft's "Keep Me Blowing Away," but also letting Willie tell jokes, whether if it's in the guise of a loose, funny duet with Kenny on Guy Clark's "Worry B Gone" or "You Don't Think I'm Funny Anymore." These are the moments that give Moment of Forever heart, the moments that last once the overinflated R&B grooves of "Takin' on Water" and monochromatic jam on Dylan's "Gotta Serve Somebody" pass, as they're the moments that flow easily and freely, and there are just enough of them to make Moment of Forever another solid Willie Nelson album, and perhaps one of the better contemporary-oriented ones of the past few years.

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Product Details

Release Date:
01/29/2008
Label:
Lost Highway
UPC:
0602517236226
catalogNumber:
001045302

Tracks

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Willie Nelson   Primary Artist,Synthesizer
Eric Darken   Percussion
John Williams [guitar]   Acoustic Guitar,Gut String Guitar
Gary Prim   Piano,Hammond Organ
Mickey Raphael   Harmonica
Buddy Cannon   Background Vocals
Melonie Cannon   Background Vocals
Jim Chapman   Background Vocals
Kenny Chesney   Background Vocals
Chris Dunn   Trombone
Kenny Greenberg   Acoustic Guitar,Electric Guitar
John Hobbs   Piano,Keyboards
Jim Horn   Baritone Saxophone,Tenor Saxophone
Paul Leim   Percussion,Drums
Sam Levine   Tenor Saxophone
Randy McCormick   Piano,Keyboards,Hammond Organ
Larry Paxton   Bass,Cello,Sousaphone,Fretless Bass Guitar,Upright Bass
Tim Stafford   Acoustic Guitar
Quentin Ware   Trumpet
Steve Herman   Trumpet
Wyatt Beard   Background Vocals
Mark Tamburino   Background Vocals

Technical Credits

Guy Clark   Composer
Kris Kristofferson   Composer
Willie Nelson   Composer
Lee Roy Parnell   Composer
Bob Dylan   Composer
Dave Loggins   Composer
Randy Newman   Composer
Dennis Robbins   Composer
Buddy Cannon   Composer,Producer,Audio Production
Butch Carr   Engineer
Kenny Chesney   Composer,Producer,Audio Production
Paul Craft   Composer
Dean Dillon   Composer
Jim Horn   Horn Arrangements
Gary Nicholson   Composer
John Scott Sherrill   Composer
Daniel Timms   Composer
Tony Castle   Engineer
Micah Nelson   Composer
Big Kenny   Composer
David McClister   Inlay Photography
Mark Tamburino   Composer

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