On his millionth album, give or take, Willie Nelson is his usual self: loping through a set of well-chosen originals and unlikely covers (Coldplay’s “The Scientist”!?) with casual virtuosity. This time, Nelson has packed his recording studio with friends and family, including his son Lukas, who sings on nine songs. The results are mixed: In “Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die,” featuring guest vocals by Kris Kristofferson, Jamey Johnson and, yep, Snoop Dogg, the stoner’s bonhomie is audible. But the stark beauty of solo songs like the weeper “That’s All There Is to This Song” makes you long for more Willie, less Willie and Friends.
Listen to Willie Nelson’s ‘Heroes’:
• Photos: Random Notes