God’s Problem Child, Willie Nelson’s new studio album (and ninth for Sony/Legacy Recordings) has entered the Billboard Country chart at #1, making it the artist’s second US country chart-topper in less than two years. Nelson’s sixth Legacy release, Django and Jimmie, an unforgettable musical collaboration with Merle Haggard, debuted at #1 on the Billboard Country chart in June 2015. God’s Problem Child is Nelson’s first album to debut all-new songs since Band of Brothers reached #1 on the Billboard Country chart (and #5 on the Billboard 200) in June 2014. Nelson’s new album has also entered the Billboard 200 at #10 and is his third Legacy release to break into the Top 10 pop charts.
God’s Problem Child was released on April 28th, on the eve of his 84th birthday on April 29th.
Summertime: Willie Nelson Sings Gershwin took home the Grammy for 2016’s Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album. That album debuted at #1 on both the Top Current Jazz chart and the Top Traditional Jazz chart following its release in February 2016.
God’s Problem Child is being lauded in both the mainstream and underground press as an essential addition to the Willie Nelson catalog with The Wall Street Journal naming it one of “This Spring’s Best Country Albums.”
Rolling Stone called God’s Problem Child “…a tightly-woven, poignant collection of ruminations on aging and fading faculties that amounts to Nelson’s most moving album in decades.” The Los Angeles Times concurred praising “…the most bountiful batch of Nelson songs since 2014’s Band of Brothers.”
“….one of pop culture’s few reigning icons who remain creatively engaged,” noted Paste who wrote that God’s Problem Child “…feels like Nelson’s personal state of the union….as vital as anything he’s done.”
“The key,” opined the Austin American-Statesman, “is a near perfect balance between Willie as songwriter and as interpreter.” Wide Open Country summed up, saying, “God’s Problem Child is a peek into the next chapter in the book of Willie, a promise that he’s not even close to being done and another helpful guide on how to live. It’s been a wild ride and it sure as hell ain’t over yet. Thank God.”
Appreciation is shared across the Atlantic where the UK’s Uncut praised the new song “Still Not Dead” as “one of Willie’s modern masterpieces” and God’s Problem Child as “an album that can stand comfortably alongside any of his iconic work…. approaching life and love from angles that can only result from a career spent studying both with a restless sense of wonder. It’s the kind of perspective that most songwriters can only dream of attaining-for Willie Nelson, it’s just another day at the office.”
Nelson has lensed several music videos for songs from God’s Problem Child. These include “Still Not Dead,” which pokes fun at the many exaggerated reports of his demise he’s heard over the years, and the album’s closer, “He Won’t Ever Be Gone,” a song written by Gary Nicholson which pays tribute to Nelson’s outlaw country comrade, Merle Haggard.
An album that reflects on mortality while marveling at the beauty and absurdity of it all, God’s Problem Child finds Willie Nelson at one of the creative peaks of his career, writing and singing with the seasoned wit and wisdom that can only come from the kind of life he’s living.
Nelson continues making music every day. When he’s not in the studio, Nelon’s on the road and performed more than 100 live shows in the past year. Coming up on his calendar are a number of tour dates in June and July including the Outlaw Music Festival and Willie Nelson’s 4th of July Picnic in Austin.
Author: Buddy Iahn
Buddy Iahn founded The Music Universe when he decided to juxtapose his love of web design and music. As a lifelong drummer, he decided to take a hiatus from playing music to report it. The website began as a fun project in 2013 to one of the top independent news sites.