In the midst of a pretty tricky year, Willie Nelson has just the thing to correct our course in 2021. The Red-Headed Stranger has just released That’s Life, a new studio album (his 95th!) that celebrates the music of his longtime friend and colleague Frank Sinatra. The record’s title track encapsulates a resiliency that should inspire all of us after some trying times. The song’s doggedly stubborn optimism was popularized by Sinatra’s 1966 album of the same name, and in 2019, the obstinate cheeriness of the tune was used to contrast the dark thematic content of the feature film Joker.
Willie’s take is fresh, turning his phrase in similar ways that Sinatra might, but with Nelson’s own charm imbued into the lyrics. A lyric video accompanies the single’s release and depicts artist Paul Mann painting the album cover. Mann, a legend in the movie poster realm, pays tribute to classic Sinatra record covers by positioning Nelson and his companion Trigger in the faint glow of a streetlamp. Recorded mostly in Capitol Studios in Hollywood, the album features ten other Sinatra favorites, including “I’ve Got You Under My Skin” and “Luck Be a Lady.” Watch the lyric video for Willie Nelson’s rendition of “That’s Life.”