Warren Zevon The Wind

Warren Zevon The Wind
It’s impossible to be objective about this album once you know that Zevon recorded it while fully conscious of his impending death from lung cancer; he wasn’t expected to live long enough to complete it, let alone see its release. On that note, it’s a triumph and a celebration of one of America’s most underrated songwriters. On the other hand, measured next to any of Zevon’s other works, it doesn’t really measure up. The A-list guest stars only distract from Zevon’s own fragile voice, and there’s way too many wanky guitar solos from the likes of David Lindley and Ry Cooder. The rockers are the weakest — c’mon, the guy’s on his death bed. It’s the songs filled with regrets and goodbyes that are as poignant as you’d expect ("She’s Too Good For Me,” "Please Stay” and the closing "Keep Me In Your Heart”). They almost make up for the inexcusable decision to cover "Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door,” a cliché which Zevon probably thought was kind of funny. For us, it’s just painful on several levels. (Artemis)