Album Review

Willie Nelson - The Border

The Border is an instant classic, having little to do with the hits it provides, but everything to do with the fleeting moments it offers to simply sit and visit with the icon.

Album - Willie Nelson - The Border
May 29, 2024 6:16 pm GMT

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Willie Nelson - The Border

Label: Legacy Recordings

Producer: Buddy Cannon

Release Date: May 31, 2024

Tracklisting:

1. The Border
2. Once Upon a Yesterday
3. What If I’m Out of My Mind
4. When I Wrote This Song for You
5. Kiss Me When You’re Through
6. Many a Long & Lonesome Highway
7. Hank’s Guitar
8. Made in Texas
9. Nobody Knows Me Like You
10. How Much Does It Cost

In the 30 or so minutes it takes to listen to The Border, your life probably won’t be significantly altered. The album’s 10 tracks are unlikely to shape you in any crucial way... At least not at first.

The thing about a Willie Nelson song is it sticks with you, whether you know it or not. It hitches a ride in your soul with no destination but onward, lending direction when you need it and delighting in the journey when you don’t. It may not boast the most innovative arrangements or feature the shiniest, newest hitmakers, but what it does have lasts within those who can appreciate its unfettered honesty, subtle beauty and rare understanding.

The Border brims with these forever songs. That kind of eternity is threaded throughout the record, in its more musing offerings like the reminiscent ‘Once Upon a Yesterday’, a throat-tightening tip of the hat to times and loved ones long since gone, and the soothsaying ‘Many A Long And Lonesome Highway’, a wise and wistful look at the road ahead.

Sedate and sincere numbers like ‘I Wrote This Song For You’ and ‘Nobody Knows Me Like You’ extend two unflinchingly candid examinations of love, while pluckier tunes, like the charming ballad ‘What If I’m Out Of My Mind’ and the bouncy Lone Star lullaby ‘Made in Texas’, become welcome companions for when commiseration or comfort is in short supply.

The Border is an instant classic, having little to do with the hits it provides, but everything to do with the fleeting moments it offers to simply sit and visit with the icon as he tells tales of good times, old friends and lasting love. It’s here that listeners become acquainted with the Willie Nelson song, relishing in what it’s like for a tune to take hold.

8/10

Willie Nelson’s 2024 project, The Border, is available everywhere May 31 via Legacy Recordings.

For more on Willie Nelson, see below:

Written by Alli Patton
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