It Always Will Be

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.