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This Old Road
     

This Old Road

5.0 1
by Kris Kristofferson
 

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Produced by Don Was, this deep and moving piece of work cuts in many directions, meshing the personal and the political while always aiming for the heart. Kris Kristofferson's voice has never been a thing of beauty, but its raw and ragged expression these days makes it perfect for conveying the hard truths he admits to here. Not all of his

Overview

Produced by Don Was, this deep and moving piece of work cuts in many directions, meshing the personal and the political while always aiming for the heart. Kris Kristofferson's voice has never been a thing of beauty, but its raw and ragged expression these days makes it perfect for conveying the hard truths he admits to here. Not all of his confessions are melancholy or regretful, despite the album's somber tone and the delicately rendered instrumental support provided by longtime Kristofferson sidekick Stephen Bruton (guitar), veteran drummer Jim Keltner, and Was on stand-up bass and piano. In the title song, Kristofferson looks at an old photograph and wonders if he's still the same person "who tried to chase the sun down"; on the lovely, lilting "The Last Thing to Go," his voice set starkly against an ambient background, he offers an homage to his compatriots of yore (we know who they are), rumbling that "every true thing that we wrote on the wind is still singing / love is the last thing to go." At the same time, the word "freedom" looms large in many of these songs, and bold new treatises such as "The Burden of Freedom" and the early Dylan–like "In the News" find Kristofferson breathing the air around Tom Paine's, sounding unvarnished alarms about the state of the Union. It's a testament to Kristofferson's craftsmanship and untamed soul that he can make such profundity out of the simplest truths he sees in his life and times. Unassuming and intimate, This Old Road kicks like a mule and bites like a crocodile.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Thom Jurek
This Old Road is the first recording of all new songs by Kris Kristofferson in the 11 years since Moment of Forever was released by Justice. (Interestingly enough, that album was originally recorded a few years earlier by producer Don Was for his Karambolage label, which lost its distribution deal.) Was is on-board here as a producer and as a musician, as are drummer Jim Keltner and old friend Stephen Bruton on guitar. Most of these 11 songs, however, are simply Kristofferson accompanying himself on guitar. The years -- Kristofferson turns 70 in 2006 -- haven't softened the old poet's social conscience -- "Pilgrim's Progress," "Wild American," "In the News," and "The Burden of Freedom" are every bit as radical as those found on his last two Mercury records, Repossessed and Third World Warrior in the mid-'80s. But Kristofferson is also wise enough to believe in love and forgiveness -- "Thank You for a Life," "The Last Thing to Go," "Holy Creation," "Final Attraction" -- and still remembers how to write a killer outlaw country song (check out "Chase the Feeling"). The tunes with the band are solid, but there is something utterly irresistible about the man with only his guitar. His voice is no better and no worse than it was in all those years form the 1970s on. But his phrasing as a singer has improved considerably. Kristofferson is dead-on here, razor-sharp, economical in his language, and to the bone in his insight. This is a welcome comeback for Kristofferson; as an artist, he proves he still has plenty to offer to anyone willing enough to listen.
St. Louis Post-Dispatch - Barry Gilbert
[Grade: A] A gripping, vital and touching work of art.... His lyrical focus is razor sharp, and his raggedy voice has acquired wisdom and warmth.

Product Details

Release Date:
03/07/2006
Label:
New West Records
UPC:
0607396608829
catalogNumber:
6088
Rank:
75723

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This Old Road 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago