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West
Artist; Lucinda Williams 
Label: Lost Highway 
Length:  13 tracks

With Lucinda Williams you know exactly what you are getting. That unique Austin, Texas drawl, dirty country girl twang and lyrics that are deceptively poetic. It is a quantitative certainty. This album has her poet dad's couplet on the cover "You don't know what wars are going on down there/Where the spirit meets the bone." And that is what you get in these songs of loss; a lover and a mother since 2005's Live At the Fillmore. Her world weary voice lends itself to looking deep down, scraping red raw emotion from the very floor of her soul. There is the resignation of loss on " Learning How to Live" and the social commentary of attacking the lavish spending at funerals that no matter how much you pay you don't get back what you've lost on "Fancy Funeral." The strings add some real drama and tension to the best poetry here on " UnsufferMe.Come On," although there is that rock chick foul mouth sexual innuendo which is actually unbecoming of one so articulate. This is a real put down of the sexual prowess of her ex, hitting even lower than Dylan's " Don't Think Twice Its Alright." "Rescue" makes it clear with the simple truth that a man cannot save you. This is a woman tired of love gone wrong. It is hurting and cynical. Indeed, one would wonder what she would do if love of some kind of consistency turned up in her life. It could ruin her career. " What If " throws out imaginative alternatives to how everything is. " A President wore pink… Feet started clapping… Birds had bank accounts… God was a bum… Children grew up happy… and we loved one another in equal amounts…"   "Wrap My Head Around That" with its spoken word style throws another sonic twist which is good because as I said, with Lucinda Williams you know exactly what you'll get and in some ways that's the only flaw.  
  
Steve Stockman

Steve Stockman is the Presbyterian Chaplain at Queens University, Belfast, Ireland, where he lives in community with 88 students. He has written two books Walk On; The Spiritual Journey of U2 which he is currently updating and The Rock Cries Out; Discovering Eternal Truth in Unlikely Music. He dabbles in poetry and songwriting and he has a weekly radio show on BBC Radio Ulster (listen anytime of day or night @ www.bbc.co.uk/ni/religion/rhythmandsoul). He has his own web page--Rhythms of Redemption at http://stocki.ni.org . He also tries to spend some time with his wife Janice and daughters Caitlin and Jasmine.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 
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