This Old Road
First Appeared in The Music Box, June 2006, Volume 13, #6
Written by Jacquilynne Schlesier
On 1999’s The Austin Sessions, Kris Kristofferson revisited his career; on This Old Road, he revisits his life. The album is a gentle reminiscence, with short anecdotes nestled in amongst unvarnished tracks. The effect is warm and friendly, and it provides an appropriate background for such personal songs. He touches upon life as a working musician on both The Show Goes On and Final Attraction, and he examines his history of drug and alcohol abuse on Chase the Feeling. Elsewhere, his love for family and God are reflected on Holy Creation as well as on Thank You for a Life.
Throughout This Old Road, Kristofferson calls out the names of his friends and heroes, paying tribute to the folks that he met along his way. Amongst all these inward treks is one attempt at political commentary (In the News), which draws an unsupported connection between the war in Iraq and the Laci Peterson murder. His argument makes little sense, and worse, it jarringly breaks the tone of the endeavor.
On the other hand, Pilgrim's Progress, the standout track on This Old Road, is an extension of his classic Chapter 33. It reveals that while Kristofferson now might be less of a walking contradiction than he was in 1971, he’s also wise enough to question the directions as he walks that lonely way back home. ½
Editor's Note: This article has been edited and reprinted with the full
permission of Country Standard Time.
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1 Star: Pitiful
2 Stars: Listenable
3 Stars: Respectable
4 Stars: Excellent
5 Stars: Can't Live Without It!!
Copyright © 2006 The Music Box