Willie Nelson

Love Songs

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Willie Nelson achieved broad-based popularity in the late '70s and '80s by singing pop standards on a series of albums starting with 1978's Stardust. This discount-priced, ten-song compilation mixes romantic ballads largely drawn from those albums and includes well-known songs from a range of periods, dating back to the 1940s ("I Can't Begin to Tell You," "To Each His Own," "Some Enchanted Evening") and continuing up to the inclusion of those twin monuments to pompous insincerity, "Always on My Mind" and "Wind Beneath My Wings." As such, the material is more uneven than might have been hoped, but every song is given the same measured, half-spoken, oddly timed Nelson vocal performance. Any one of the full-length albums in which these recordings originated -- Without a Song, What a Wonderful World, etc. -- is recommended over this sampler. But at a modest price, it is at least a mood-setter.

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