Willie Nelson
Last Man Standing


3.5
great

Review

by VaxXi USER (35 Reviews)
April 27th, 2018 | 11 replies


Release Date: 2018 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Making the bed

Willie Nelson is getting fucking old.

Just a few days shy of 85 and with his sixty-seventh studio record hot off the press, the day when we will have to face the fact that our weed loving, tax dodging country legend won’t be around much longer isn’t too far off. Last Man Standing is depressing - perhaps too depressing even. The record drowns with the doom and gloom that time is running out, even if Willie Nelson’s humorous, light-hearted writing doesn't address it. One could easily boil down Last Man Standing as just another standard Nelson affair, and one that can be easily glossed over by non-fans or the barely curious. But what can’t be denied is the very real sense of awareness that things will be coming to an end which lingers over the audience’s head.

Between the lines of run-of-the-mill love ballads and cautionary life tales from your distant, friendly uncle, the cracks of the eventual comedown fade in. Atop a morbidly comedic arrangement of bounce guitar and bright keyboard, Nelson humors death on the title track and pays respects to fallen friends - and weighs in on the prospects of heaven and hell with the dismissive “bah humbug” of a person at peace with their time. But there are pauses here and there, breaks from the bounce of old-time Americana groove where realization falls into place; and how sad it becomes. For each light-hearted quip expected from a solid Nelson number is an eventual follow-up that cries “well, actually.”

Lines like “I don’t wanna be the last man standing, or wait maybe I do” and “Heaven is closed and Hell’s overcrowded, so I think I’ll just stay where I am” fit the tongue-in-cheek context of their respective tracks. Yet at the same time, Nelson’s worn delivery and the semi-solemn tone of the instrumental work reflects a man saying: “But I’m not ready to go.” It’s that very real uncertainty and contradiction that humanizes Nelson and Last Man Standing on an uncomfortable level. Even if this record may not be the loud ambitious “goodbye”, the triumphant swan song which the artist will be remembered by, it is that ugly preparation for the future to come. And it very well may be what makes this record too depressing for its own good.



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user ratings (13)
3.1
good


Comments:Add a Comment 
VaxXi
April 27th 2018


4418 Comments


Best: Last Man Standing, Heaven is Closed, Something You Get Through, I’ll Try to do Better Next Time
Worst: I Ain’t Got Nothin’
Stream: http://sptfy.com/lastmanstanding

Major thanks to Arch and Bloon for proofreading and suggestions!


TheSpaceMan
April 27th 2018


13614 Comments


"Nelson’s approach to morality claims the contrary"

I would suggest highlighting this a bit further in the review, because as I was reading this review I wasn't really sure what is approach to it was and how it suggests time isn't running out and thought that it was gonna be a pseudo thesis you're working off

VaxXi
April 27th 2018


4418 Comments


To do so would to just expand this review into an overlong lyrical analysis. The few examples I used on top of the general idea of the album as described should say enough as a general overview in my opinion. Nelson is jokey and doing the same old same old, but deep down you know shit is serious.

TheSpaceMan
April 27th 2018


13614 Comments


Going off what you said, I interpreted the sentence as Nelson doesn't acknowledge time is running out, and I feel that's kinda what it says just in the way the sentence is constructed. Cause yea you're good on highlighting him not really giving much of shit but idk if you're happy I guess it's trivial

TheSpaceMan
April 27th 2018


13614 Comments


Like if I said "My dog is sad because it's gonna die, but Sally doesn't think it is" it sorta implies Sally thinks my dog isn't gonna die vs not thinking it's sad just based of the last piece of info dropped before the comma.

Just tryna help you out if you think I'm being needless it's cool



Papa Universe
April 27th 2018


22503 Comments


who dared to neg this? strategic counterpos deployed

last POS standing

VaxXi
April 27th 2018


4418 Comments


Oh sorry spaceman I wasn't intending to make it sound like I didn't want your advice. I can change the sentencing if you think it's not clear enough, this review deff wasn't meant to be THAT deep.

butcherboy
April 27th 2018


9464 Comments


should check this.. problem child was alright.. besides, this guy earned his stripes, deserves all the leeway.

TheSpaceMan
April 28th 2018


13614 Comments


Oh nah you're good bro didn't think you were, more acknowledging that yea I'm probably over thinking things lol

Atari
Staff Reviewer
April 29th 2018


27993 Comments


67 studio albums that is nuts 🥜

Dewinged
Staff Reviewer
November 15th 2018


32073 Comments


Listening to Heaven is Closed now. I really hope he makes it to the 69th album. What a legend.



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