Lucinda Williams, Slightly Sweetened

Oct 13th, 2008 // 2 Comments

Our look at the closing lines of the biggest new-music reviews continues with a roundup of reactions to Little Honey, the new album from perennial rock-critic favorite Lucinda Williams:

• “The closest she gets to real country, in fact, is a duet with Elvis Costello (there’s that name again!) on the stunning ‘Jailhouse Tears,’ which is a conversation between two former lovers following what must’ve been a horrible relationship. (There’s an irony, by the way—intended or not—that the album shares a title with a song that was recorded by both X and the Blasters and which was co-written by Dave Alvin, with whom Williams once had a fairly volatile relationship.) Country-tinged or not, though, George Jones never sang a lyric like ‘Look at me, I’m clean now,’ only to be followed by Tammy Wynette snarling: ‘You’re so full of shit.’ Terrific stuff.” [Detroit Metro Times]

• “On ‘Knowing’ Ms. Williams sings of love catching her by surprise, but there’s ambiguity in the lines, most of which begin, ‘I didn’t know.’ As sentiments expressed in the present, they’re quietly insightful assertions of love. But Ms. Williams sings them heavily, as if she is already looking backwards: it sounds a lot like an elegy. And heard that way, it makes perfect sense.” [NYT]

• “It spurs her to vary the album’s mood and tempo, and loosen up in heretofore unheard ways, on the likes of ‘Jailhouse Tears,’ a delicious country love-hate duet with Elvis Costello, as well as the raunchy title cut, and a cranked-up cover of AC/DC’s ‘It’s a Long Way to the Top (If You Wanna Rock ‘n’ Roll).’” [Philadelphia Inquirer]

• “Plenty of singer-songwriters are perfectly capable of matching up clever lyrics and pleasant melodies. Williams writes prize-winning short stories and puts them to music. Insanely good music.” [Miami Herald]


  1. Michaelangelo Matos

    Which Lucinda Williams short stories have won prizes?

  2. cheesebubble

    @Michaelangelo Matos: There’s that one autobiographical story where Lucinda wakes up face down in a ditch, only to discover that she’s really Keith Richards with a bottle of peroxide.

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