If, say, George Jones were to come out with a pscyhedelic rock record, we would all be shocked. We'd probably still like it (I did say George Jones, right?), but we'd tilt our heads to the side like some puzzled mutt, wondering what was wrong with this picture.
But we aren't too surprised here. Why is that? Because Waylon always did things his way. And this isn't REALLY a psychedelic rock record...it's a psychedelic country/rock record, with perhaps more emphasis upon the rock...but the country's still there, yessir. "Lonesome On'ry And Mean" hasn't really changed a whole lot since the seventies...and that's just fine. "Jack of Diamonds" is a little more spruced up, and that's fine too. "Waymore's Blues" has gone on a bender (in a good way), "Are You Ready for the Country" follows a similar suit, and "Ain't Livin' Long Like This" has finally become a flat-out rock song (as, I must suggest, it was always meant to be).
Shooter Jennings produces/arranges (this is as much his project as Daddy's), and his .357s band provided the backdrop...but the star here is Waylon, in the finest vocal form we heard him since the seventies. He snarls his way through Cream's "White Room," and that smoldering closer, "I Found the Body" (a co-write with Shooter)...it just leaves you chilled to the bone. WAYLON FOREVER, labelled as Waylon's final recordings, stands as a testament to two things: one, Waylon was perhaps the finest outlaw singer country music (or the world) ever saw...and two, he hadn't really changed all that much. Just check out "Don't You Think This Outlaw Stuff Has Done Gotten Out of Hand," reworked here into a power ballad (complete with strings!), yet simply re-titled "Outlaw Sh**." Six years after his death, Waylon is still smirking at us, not really caring if we get the joke or not. He did things HIS way; the rest of us be damned. If that's not an outlaw...then I'm sorry, but I just don't know what is.