If you're getting dressed to go to a party, you don't want to warm up listening to three-time Grammy winner Lucinda Williams. But if you just ended a relationship and want some consolation that somebody out there is feeling worse, and writing and singing about it, put on one of her albums, her newest included, and share the dark cloud overhead.
Despite her sometimes mind-numbing melodies and weary singing, she is one of my favorite artists, and two of her past albums Car Wheels on a Gravel Road and Sweet Old World are pure classics.
She opens her latest with a rocking attack on an ex-lover, “Buttercup”: “The damage has been done/ you won't stop because it's too much fun.” It’s a little reminiscent of that Carly Simon nugget “Your So Vain.” Then Ms. Williams kicks into a signature, mournful ballad, “I Don't Know How You’re Living,” about giving in to a love lost and accepting the pain. “Born to Be Loved” is a seductive, bluesy hymn with a poignant lyric: “You were born to be mistreated/ you were born to be misguided/ you were born to be loved.” My two favorites on the CD are “Seeing Black,” a rocker with Elvis Costello's soaring back-up guitar, and “Kiss Like You Kiss,” a Grammy-nominated song from the HBO vampire series True Blood.
This CD of 12 original songs was produced by another Grammy-winner, Don Was. Williams's mournful melodies and love-worn lyrics cast a somber spell over the listener, but for every love TKO she sings about, there's always another arrow in cupid's quiver.
- Album: Blessed (2011)
- Artist: Lucinda Williams
- Label: Lost Highway
- Songs: (1) Buttercup (2) I Don't Know How You're Living (3) Copenhagen (4) Born to Be Loved (5) Seeing Black (6) Soldier's Song (7) Blessed (8) Sweet Love (9) Ugly Truth (10) Convince Me (11) Awakening (12) Kiss Like You Kiss