Here's the most powerful one-two punch from Haggard's post-"Okie" career. Following the furor raised by his right-wing anthems "Okie" and "Fightin' Side of Me," Haggard became more determined to remain his own man. On Hag, the music is more eclectic than ever, and so's the stance of the mostly-original songs, which are brooding and humble rather than self-pitying or paranoid. Someday We'll Look Back backs introspective songs with richly textured music, somehow harder country and universally pop simultaneously. Beauties like "California Cottonfields" and "Tulare Dust" look back at his past with mixed emotions, "Carolyn" resonates like more than a simple cheating song, "Big Time Annie's Square" offers a self-mocking rapprochement with hippies, the title song finds hope and love in hardship, and "I'd Rather Be Gone" faces tough truths without bitterness or recrimination. Though made up of loose songs gathered from several sessions, this cohesive album represents Haggard without masks.
By John Morthland on 05.17.11 in Icons
There's never been a country music career anything like that of Merle Haggard. Launched soon after he was released from San Quentin, it presented him first as a reckless, paranoid, yet rather proud honky-tonk man, the el...
By Jewly Hight on 02.23.15 in Features
"I take the country songs, because they're the only ones left now with any real meaning, and I redo them more R
By Andy Beta on 05.15.12 in Reviews
With his 79th birthday behind him, Willie Nelson is pondering his mortality on Heroes. A duet with fellow septuagenarian Merle Haggard on ruminative opener "A Horse Called Music" examines memory and loss. And then follow...
By Wondering Sound Staff on 05.07.12 in Lists
From doting to derelict, supportive to destructive, pop music contains mothers of every stripe. This year for Mother's Day, we decided to showcase 20 of pop music's more prominent moms. Any of them look familiar?