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http://assets-s3.rollingstone.com/assets/images/album_review/df49d1d68d303f3748916648b0c705046545812b.jpg It Always Will Be

Willie Nelson

It Always Will Be

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December 15, 2004

One hesitates to tell Willie Nelson what to do, but maybe the man should always sing songs with the word always in the title: "Always on My Mind" is one of Nelson's most enduring classics, and now "It Will Always Be" — the stately opening title track to his latest album — is the perfect beginning to Nelson's strongest album since 1996's Spirit.

Unlike some of his more homespun recent releases, the mostly mellow, thoughtful Always — produced with real style by James Stroud — draws on the best Nashville has to offer. An improbable highlight: the goofball, rollicking take on Greg Allman's "Midnight Rider" with Toby Keith.

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