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The Border (album)

The Border
Photograph of a mountainous desert landscape in the Big Bend area on the border between Texas and Mexico. The title and artist are written on top of the cover.
Studio album by
ReleasedMay 31, 2024
Studio
  • East Iris (Nashville)
  • Blackbird (Nashville)
GenreCountry
Length35:13
LabelLegacy
ProducerBuddy Cannon
Willie Nelson chronology
Bluegrass
(2023)
The Border
(2024)
Singles from The Border
  1. "The Border"
    Released: March 14, 2024

The Border is the 75th solo studio album by American singer-songwriter Willie Nelson. It was released on May 31, 2024, through Legacy Recordings.[1] Produced by Buddy Cannon, the album contains four original songs by Nelson and Cannon along with six songs from songwriters such as Rodney Crowell, Shawn Camp and Mike Reid.[2]

The album's lead single and title track, a cover of Crowell and Allen Shamblin's song "The Border" from Crowell's 2019 album Texas, was released on March 14, 2024.[3]

Background

Nelson and Cannon's four songs, like most of their compositions were written over text threads.[4] Cannon found more material for the album at a Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame lunch with Mike Reid and Allen Shamblin, which led Reid to send in "Nobody Knows Me Like You" and Shamblin to submit "The Border", which in turn inspired Nelson's manager Mark Rothbaum to suggest another Crowell song, "Many a Long and Lonesome Highway".[4]

Critical reception

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
SourceRating
Metacritic78/100[5]
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic[6]
The Arts Desk[7]

The Border received positive reviews from music critics. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album received a score of 78 out of 100 based on five reviews, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[5]

Graeme Thomson at The Spectator found that "the material on The Border smartly plugs into Nelson’s mythos", praising Nelson's guitar playing and his ability to communicate while comparing the record's "sombre, stately mood" to the 1996 album Spirit.[8] Texas Monthly, a magazine which has reviewed all of Nelson's albums, found "Willie in better voice and more active on Trigger than he’s been since 2018’s Last Man Standing" and singled out "Nobody Knows Me Like You" as a highlight.[4] Stephen Thomas Erlewine at AllMusic considered The Border as a sequel to Nelson's 2022 record A Beautiful Time, finding the "levity" in an album where Rodney Crowell contributes the "weightier material", concluding that The Border "doesn't quite feel like a final chapter but rather a welcome coda restating Nelson's strengths with casual ease."[6]

Track listing

The Border track listing
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."The Border"5:10
2."Once Upon a Yesterday"3:41
3."What If I'm Out of My Mind"
  • Nelson
  • Cannon
2:58
4."I Wrote This Song for You"
3:49
5."Kiss Me When You're Through"
  • Nelson
  • Cannon
2:45
6."Many a Long and Lonesome Highway"4:05
7."Hank's Guitar"
  • Cannon
  • Bobby Tomberlin
3:06
8."Made in Texas"2:25
9."Nobody Knows Me Like You"Mike Reid3:56
10."How Much Does It Cost"
  • Nelson
  • Cannon
3:21
Total length:35:13

Personnel

Musicians

Technical

  • Buddy Cannon – production
  • Andrew Mendelson – mastering
  • Tony Castle – mixing, engineering
  • Adam Battershell – engineering assistance
  • Joey Salit – engineering assistance
  • Luke Armentrout – engineering assistance
  • Michelle Freetly – engineering assistance
  • Sean Badum – engineering assistance
  • Taylor Chadwick – engineering assistance
  • Shannon Finnegan – production coordinator
  • Mark Rothbaum - executive producer

Other personnel

  • Frank Harkins – art direction and design
  • Pamela Springsteen – photography (Trigger)
  • Kelly VanDellan and William Silver - photography (Big Bend)

Charts

Chart performance for The Border
Chart (2024) Peak
position
Australian Country Albums (ARIA)[9] 39
Austrian Albums (Ö3 Austria)[10] 58
Croatian International Albums (HDU)[11] 6
Scottish Albums (OCC)[12] 22
Swedish Physical Albums (Sverigetopplistan)[13] 16
UK Album Downloads (OCC)[14] 63
UK Country Albums (OCC)[15] 3
US Top Album Sales (Billboard)[16] 14
US Top Country Albums (Billboard)[17] 50

References

  1. ^ Breihan, Tom (March 14, 2024). "Willie Nelson Announces The Border, His 75th Solo Album of New Material". Stereogum. Retrieved March 14, 2024.
  2. ^ Nicholson, Jessica (March 14, 2024). "Willie Nelson Has a New Album Coming: Here's When The Border Arrives". Billboard. Retrieved March 14, 2024.
  3. ^ Kreps, Daniel (March 14, 2024). "Willie Nelson Announces New Album 'The Border,' Shares Rodney Crowell Cover". Rolling Stone. Retrieved March 14, 2024.
  4. ^ a b c Spong, John (May 29, 2024). "On His 152nd Album, Willie's Still Dropping Once-in-a-Generation Songs". Texas Monthly. Retrieved May 29, 2024.
  5. ^ a b "The Border by Willie Nelson". Metacritic. Retrieved March 31, 2024.
  6. ^ a b Erlewine, Stephen Thomas (31 May 2024). "The Border Review". AllMusic. Retrieved 31 May 2024.
  7. ^ Cumming, Tim (3 June 2024). "Album: Willie Nelson - The Border". The Arts Desk. Retrieved June 3, 2024.
  8. ^ Thomson, Graeme (May 25, 2024). "The weird, hypnotic world of Willie Nelson". The Spectator. Retrieved May 23, 2024.
  9. ^ "ARIA Top 40 Country Albums Chart". Australian Recording Industry Association. June 10, 2024. Retrieved June 7, 2024.
  10. ^ "Austriancharts.at – Willie Nelson – The Border" (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved June 13, 2024.
  11. ^ "Lista prodaje 24. tjedan 2024" (in Croatian). HDU. June 3, 2024. Archived from the original on June 18, 2024. Retrieved June 19, 2024.
  12. ^ "Official Scottish Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved June 8, 2024.
  13. ^ "Veckolista Album Fysiskt, vecka 23". Sverigetopplistan. Retrieved June 8, 2024.
  14. ^ "Official Album Downloads Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved June 8, 2024.
  15. ^ "Official Country Artists Albums Chart Top 20". Official Charts Company. Retrieved June 8, 2024.
  16. ^ "Willie Nelson Chart History (Top Album Sales)". Billboard. Retrieved June 13, 2024.
  17. ^ "Willie Nelson Chart History (Top Country Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved June 11, 2024.

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