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World Without Tears
Artist: Lucinda Williams
Length: 13 tracks
Lucinda Williams has the alternative country freshness of a Ryan Adams, the bluesy maturity of Time Out of Mind Bob Dylan and the guitar sound of Keith Richards but a whole lot better looking. The voice is pure seduction and thing of languishing beauty and just as you are thinking that she has walked down Daniel Lanois Street and veered up her own little avenue you become aware that her co producer is Mark Howard who is often works alongside the aforementioned Canadian; you are chuffed that your assumptions are vindicated.
Williams is angry; “Photographic dialogues/Beneath your skin/Pornographic episodes/Screaming sin” (Real Live Bleeding Fingers And Broken Guitar Strings). It is her "Heartbreaker" or "Blood On the Tracks." It could be seen as the female equivalent of "Don’t Think Twice Its Alright," vengeful and spiteful and yet there is as much wallowing in the hurt and sadness as there is in the attempt to strike back; I did say female equivalent. Righteously speaks of the woman’s righteous love and the desire to make a man of her man but to do so he must stop his games, “Flirt with me don’t keep hurtin’ me/Don’t cause me pain/Be my lover don’t play no game/Just play me John Coltrane.” The attitude in Williams voice would make me play her Gareth Gates. "Those Three Days" again exposes the male fickleness and turns the screw, “You built a nest in my soul/You rest your head on leaves of gold/You managed to crawl inside my brain/You found a hole and in you came…did you love me forever/For those three days.” Wow! Overtime is the old time will heal song and surprisingly lacking in any intrigue or bite.
There is similar complaint with the title track which can only be seen as an ironic surrender to the sins of the world as she asks where scars and bruises and broken live if we had a tearless existence. It is not only wayward lovers and romantic heartache that is getting Ms Williams lyrical back up. On Atonement her ranting reaches its most venomous directing it towards that old enemy the TV evangelist, “Blinded by glittery diamonds/Resting on crooked fingers/Shaded eyes they are the ones/Who’ll lead you to your deliverance.” "Atonement" is not an appropriate title! Things are eventually proved totally irredeemable in the spoken word American dream where drugs, Vietnam, injustice for the Navajo, industrial exploitation…”everything is wrong.”
It is hardly cheery stuff but then the best rock n roll never is. It all started so positively with a singer “trying to enjoy all the fruits of my labour/I been cryin’ for you boy but truth is my saviour.” Well it is the only hint of salvation on the entire record but if it is raw bloody truth you want then World Without Tears has enough honesty to save the world.
In the meantime the music
is splendid as always. It is the sad and beautiful world of Lucinda Williams.