Picks and Pans Review: Kris Kristofferson

UPDATED 04/10/2006 at 01:00 AM EDT Originally published 04/10/2006 at 01:00 AM EDT

This Old Road

COUNTRY

As a songwriter, Kris Kristofferson has logged many miles along This Old Road: His tunes have been recorded by more than 450 artists. But the man who gave us "Me and Bobby McGee" still has some poignant stories to tell, as evident on this, his first album of new material in 11 years. Kristofferson, who will turn 70 in June, lets the years show, wrinkles and all, on this raw, Botox-free set. "Looking at a looking glass/ Running out of time/ On a face you used to know," he sings on the reflective title cut. The scraggly-voiced Highwayman brings an emotional immediacy to the intimate, livelike settings. The spare arrangements lay bare the lyrics, which range from the personal to the political. On one standout track, "In the News," he nimbly covers both the Iraq war and the Laci Peterson murder.

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