Key Tracks: ‘Come Rain or Come Shine,’ ‘I Miss You So’
Willie Nelson may be America’s greatest balladeer, capable of making any song sound like a standard. For all his genius, Nelson can be kind of lazy, and this disc ”“ a sequel of sorts to his beloved 1978 standards collection, Stardust ”“ he only occasionally sounds like he’s trying. Nelson wrings pathos out of ”˜Come Rain or Come Shine’ and plays the dirty old man to perfection in ”˜Baby, It’s Cold Outside,’ drawling come-ons to Norah Jones. But his band pushes the music into airless cocktail-jazz territory, and Nelson often sounds glib and unengaged. Nelson can swing a tune like ”˜Fly Me to the Moon’ in his sleep ”“ and here, alas, he does.