World without Tears
T.J. Simon's #18 album for 2003
First Appeared at The Music Box, May 2003, Volume 10, #5
Written by John Metzger
It took Lucinda Williams eighteen years to release four albums of original material, but since the roots-rock blockbuster Car Wheels on a Gravel Road, she has managed to conquer her obsession with perfection or at the very least speed up her personal artistic process. First came 2001’s atmospheric Essence — an underappreciated effort, full of raw, emotionally fragile songs that drew heavily from Joni Mitchell’s Blue while cornering the market on heartache and loss. Her latest album World without Tears grabs the wistful beauty of Essence and combines it with the raunchier aspects of Car Wheels on a Gravel Road to form yet another masterpiece in a career that has been full of them. Righteously is as raw and edgy as anything Williams has ever recorded as a guitar grunts, groans, and growls against a driving backdrop of drums and bass, and she’s never sounded quite so enthralled with the Rolling Stones as she does on Bleeding Fingers. Likewise, the thunderous blues of Atonement is a stunningly acute assault on organized religion that rises from the center of the album with potent force. Elsewhere, she mixes equal parts anger and heartache in the wake of abandonment on Those Three Days and delivers affecting country-rap on both the child abuse tale Sweet Side as well as the dark and murky American Dream. In other words, throughout World without Tears, Williams continues to tackle tough topics with a rare convergence of brutal honesty and heartfelt poetic discourse, and although her exquisite catalog has begun to grow at a more rapid pace, she’s managed to keep her high standards intact.
Of Further Interest...
World without Tears is available from Barnes & Noble.
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1 Star: Pitiful
2 Stars: Listenable
3 Stars: Respectable
4 Stars: Excellent
5 Stars: Can't Live Without It!!
Copyright © 2003 The Music Box