Essential New Music: Willie Nelson’s “God’s Problem Child”

It’s a crazy time, and chances are the song that’ll get the most attention here is the post-Trumpocalyptic “Delete And Fast Forward,” about electing a president who’s ready to “blow the whole world back to where it began.” God’s Problem Child has plenty of high points, like Willie Nelson singing the title track with Jamey Johnson, Leon Russell and Tony Joe White or joking about his premature obituary on “Still Not Dead.” But the album’s greatest treasures are sadder and subtler, finding their place within the Willie trifecta of love, loss and loneliness. There’s “Your Memory Has A Mind Of Its Own,” where all the smoke in the world won’t help him forget the past, and “It Gets Easier,” where he’s gotten so old he doesn’t have to do “one damn thing I don’t want to do/Except for missing you/And that won’t go away.” Best of all is “True Love,” where he swears to keep following his heart to hell and back, even now at 84, with more than 100 albums behind him and no sign of slowing down.

—Kenny Berkowitz