Willie Nelson’s New Duet Getting Rave Reviews, I Don’t Like It [Opinion]
The new song by Willie Nelson and Karen Lee Orzolek (Karen O), a remake of Queen and David Bowie's "Under Pressure", was released late Wednesday to rave reviews. I'm a fan of Willie Nelson (87) but I just don't care for his performance in this new duet.
Willie Nelson is one of the greatest performers in the history of music. He's a songwriter, musician, singer and actor who has made an indelible mark on pop, classical and of course country music. 1978's "Whiskey River" is one of the best live performances ever laid down on tape. I was with Willie backstage in Baton Rouge when they presented him with a cake for his 50th birthday. We all sang happy birthday to him. At the end of the song, he put his face in the cake. We did the rest of the interview with his face and beard full of cake. I'm a fan!
But I just can't wrap my arms around this remake. I've listened to it several times hoping it would grow on me but I'm sorry to say, it just hasn't.
First of all, to tackle a classic song like "Under Pressure", you have to bring your A-game. Willie Nelson may be a bit past his best performances at 87-years-old.
Karen O and Nelson perform a slower more acoustic version of the song. The Yeah Yeah Yeahs' singer is pretty good. Karen O maybe should have recorded the remake alone. Willie sounds like Johnny Cash did at the end of his life. His singing sounds more like out of breath talking to me. Maybe they were going for that, but I don't think it works here.