Willie Nelson

by Joe Nick Patoski

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Robert Partridge

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The magnificent "Red Headed Stranger" was a triumph of the imagination, the first time a country artist has consciously sought to explore the complex relationship between alienation, violence and individual integrity. But Nelson has refused to take similar risks on his new album, "The Sound In Your Mind". This is a collection of honkytonk songs, a bunch of fave-raves presumably meant as a celebration of Texas country music. Yet it lacks total conviction and, without that, the album holds few surprises…. As an affirmation of Nelson's roots, this album is a disappointment; pleasant but ordinary. He even digs into his own past, re-recording "Funny How Time Slips Away", "Crazy" and "Night Life", three of his best songs from the Sixties.

Robert Partridge, "Cool Carpenters Only Coasting," in Melody Maker (© IPC Business Press Ltd.), June 26, 1976, p. 21.∗

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