Despite the best intentions, the icons of popular music aren't always best-served by "tribute" albums—as fans of these artists well know.

Despite the best intentions, the icons of popular music aren't always best-served by "tribute" albums—as fans of these artists well know. But with Timeless, a superstar-studded tip of the hat to immortal country singer/songwriter Hank Williams, Lost Highway has set a heartening new standard. From the A&R to the packaging, Timeless brims with class and taste. Of course, the songs cut as close to the heart of American musical art as any ever written, and these interpretations are all subtle and deeply felt. Just a few highlights: Bob Dylan's "I Can't Get You Off of My Mind," Ryan Adam's "Lovesick Blues," Keith Richards' "You Win Again," and Beck's "Your Cheating Heart," as well as tracks by Sheryl Crow, Emmylou Harris, and Tom Petty. That's not to mention the apt inclusion of Williams' grandson—Hank Williams III—or Johnny Cash's spectral take on "I Dreamed About Mama Last Night." What becomes an Americana legend most? An homage like this.—BB

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