Album Reviews

Music You Don't Know You Like Yet

LUCINDA WILLIAMS

BLESSED

2011-02-25

Ever since her 1998 classic Car Wheels on a Gravel Road Lucinda Williams has used her expertly wrought sense of melancholy to weave tales of lust, heartbreak, desperation and redemption. This disc continues down that same path with Williams spitting in anger at the friend who gave up on living, "Seeing Black", giving the good bye look to someone who uses and abuses her but can’t understand why he’s getting the walking papers, "Buttercup", and being baffled by the mate who doesn’t understand the scope of her undying devotion which almost took her underground with him, "I Don’t Know How You’re Livin’". Death makes another appearance on "Copenhagen" where she finds herself floored by the news of someone’s passing and on "Soldier’s Song" where she adopts the viewpoint of a soldier who deals with the mayhem and death by focusing on the ordinary moments that mark the passage of time back home. While Williams is drawn to the dark spaces in life, "Ugly Truth", she doesn’t ignore the power of love, "Sweet Love" and "Kiss Like Your Kiss", or ignore the special spot occupied by those who get relationships right, "Blessed". Even when she’s down, she wants to be lured to a happier place, "Convince Me". While a number of the cuts are as musically dark as the stark lyrics, she imbues several tracks with a sense of hope that comes through with rocking riffs, such as on "Awakening" or cool organ grooves such as on the title cut. Unlike recent efforts where she seemed almost daunted by the prospects of singing her harsh words, Williams delivers the lyrics here with clear throated power. Song for song, this is her strongest work in years. Smitty

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Compiled by the WYCE Journalism Club

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