Willie Nelson

The Great Willie Nelson

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With his odd, jazzy vocal phrasing and a penchant for writing elegant and sophisticated songs full of honest yearning and regret, Willie Nelson has long been one of country's most unlikely stars. That he seems to put out ten albums a year has only served to obscure the fact that he is a wonderfully unique writer and singer. This collection, although it claims to assemble some of his most memorable songs in a two-disc set, does hardly that, since it lacks such acknowledged classics as "Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain," "Angel Flying Too Close to the Ground," "On the Road Again," "Funny How Time Slips Away," and, of course, "Crazy." Not that this compilation doesn't having winning melodies and solid songs (Nelson has always been a remarkably consistent writer and performer), but serious die-hard fans will already have these tracks, and the casual listener will wonder why "Hello Walls" isn't here.

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