Spiritual Stocktaking

PERFORMER: WILLIE NELSON

ALBUM: ACROSS THE BORDERLINE

LABEL: COLUMBIA

THE BOTTOM LINE: A sort of musical road movie chronicles the new coming of age of a middle-aged crazy.

Don't be so surprised. Willie Nelson's gone and grown up -- but he's done that before. From Nashville tunesmith to Austin outlaw, country singer to pop star, counterculture plaything to movie personality, conscience of Farm Aid to IRS whipping boy, he's remained a maverick without portfolio or apology. The only consistent quality about him has been his unpredictability.

You couldn't even count on his music to be congruous with much he'd done before,...

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