Album: Lucinda Williams

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Since the release of 2003's acclaimed World Without Tears, Lucinda Williams has been assailed by misfortune, with the death of her mother followed by the collapse of a relationship. West charts these setbacks with an unflinching eye and a big heart, Williams noting the futility of a "Fancy Funeral", and paying tribute to her mother in "Mama You Sweet" with a consideration of what has been left behind, while taking pot-shots at the lover who "Didn't even make me/Come on!" and gnawing away for all of nine minutes, in "Wrap My Head Around That", at the problems that torpedoed her relationship. "The mystery and the splendour don't thrill me like before," she concludes in "Everything Has Changed", going on, in songs such as "Learning How To Live" and "Rescue", to mull over the nature of love. The latter is particularly effective, using a litany of things a man can't do to illuminate his more positive characteristics. The best track, though, is "Unsuffer Me", in which burring organ and angst-laden blues guitar cast dark shadows over her desire for redemption: "Undo my logic/ Undo my fear/ Unsuffer me".

DOWNLOAD THIS: 'Unsuffer Me', 'Rescue', 'Mama You Sweet', 'Come On'