Music: The Way of the World (Mose Allison)

His sleepy voice and bluesy piano seemingly untouched by time, Mose Allison returns with one of the best albums of his career, which has spanned more than a half-century. On The Way of the World, the Mississippi-born sage skewers the pompous and chronicles life’s absurdities with the same sly wit that influenced rockers like the Who and the Clash, who both covered Allison tunes. “I know you didn’t mean it when you blew us up,” he drawls at one point, exuding bemused resignation; “Modest Proposal” (shades of Jonathan Swift) finds him muttering, “Let’s start making some sense today.” Though Allison is in his early 80s, he still possesses the irreverence of a rookie.