Review: Willie Nelson, “The Scientist”

Videos by American Songwriter

Remember when Johnny Cash covered “Hurt” by Nine Inch Nails, and it turned out to be culturally a big deal? In fact, the amazing video for “Hurt” became Cash’s swan song of sorts, played over and over again after his death in 2003.

Well, this is sort of like that, only Willie’s still kicking, and Coldplay are no Nine Inch Nails. The new single, recorded for a film commissioned by Chipotle about sustainable farming, sounds like it was recorded in the barn. Birds chirp in the background, and you can hear pigs milling around as well.

Willie’s quavering voice sits plaintively over some delicate gut-string guitar for the first verse. Then, Nashville-style steel guitars take the place of synths and strings, amping up the grandeur. It shouldn’t work, but it does. Or it doesn’t work, but it should.

Next up? How about a Willie/Coldplay mashup — “Green Eyes Crying In The Rain.”

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