By John Hughes
The brilliant Ms. Williams, 50 year old alt-country chanteuse, angst goddess, poet and daredevil, has added nine great new songs to her legacy as one of the most underrated songwriters in a generation.
World Without Tears was recorded live, and the results are incandescent. Never before has Lucinda sounded so raw and exposed. Her singing is ringed with fire. Never before has her band sounded so hot and free. For nine songs, she rocks, rages, mourns the world’s pains, declares her love, flirts, yearns, and tells the hidden truth. It’s exhilarating, gorgeous music ‘n message.
Much is being made of the concept that with this record she’s leaving her Americana roots behind. It’s true, you can hear more of Keith Richards, Paul Westerberg and Patti Smith between the grooves than you can of Loretta Lynn. But Lucinda Williams has, for several years, been a musician beyond category, playing what moves her at the time, with all the greats imbedded in her soul. She’ll never not be alt-country. She’s just that and a whole lot more.
This is a marvelous CD.