World Without Tears

World Without Tears

4.6 3
by Lucinda Williams
     
 

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If the moody ruminations on 2001's Essence found Lucinda Williams boxing mostly with God, then the rousing rock 'n' roll driving World Without Tears reveals her combatants to be made of flesh and blood -- though lacking backbone when it comes to commitment and sincerity. Romantic disillusion is a dominant theme here, but theSee more details below

Overview

If the moody ruminations on 2001's Essence found Lucinda Williams boxing mostly with God, then the rousing rock 'n' roll driving World Without Tears reveals her combatants to be made of flesh and blood -- though lacking backbone when it comes to commitment and sincerity. Romantic disillusion is a dominant theme here, but the Grammy-winning songwriter also turns a critical eye on social dissolution: In a languorous talking blues titled "American Dream," the verses are snapshots of the disenfranchised -- an addicted Vietnam vet, an itinerant coal miner coughing his lungs out, a Native American double-crossed by the government -- revealed in concise, blunt imagery over a burbling organ, bluesy guitar, steadily thumping drums, and a low, moaning harmonica. "Atonement" may not have been intended as social commentary -- more likely it's a challenge to a reluctant lover to get with the program -- but its righteous anger and sarcastic, militaristic lyrics ("kill the rats in the gutter…bite down hard 'til it sticks between your teeth / Glory, glory we've killed the beast") seem especially timely in 2003, as does the chilling firestorm of howling guitar, clunky percussion, and apocalyptic blues thunder. On the personal home front, the Crazy Horse–like crunch-and-grunge of "Real Live Bleeding Fingers and Broken Guitar Strings" powers a tale of dangerous obsession. In "Overtime," a hypnotic, shimmering backdrop, à la Daniel Lanois circa Sling Blade, frames a tender country breakup ballad. To the easy beat of a lazy country shuffle in "People Talkin'," Williams vows to stand by her man and stay true to herself in spite of outsiders' vicious talk. In the end, Williams discovers, flesh and blood needs flesh and blood, no matter the personal price. World Without Tears is her book of revelation, one that fans will want to devour, chapter and verse.

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Editorial Reviews

New York Times - Alan Light
Stunning... From the revved-up stomp of "Bleeding Fingers" to the heart-tugging old-school country on "Over Time" and "People Talkin' " to several hip-hop-inflected narratives, it's the first recording that truly illustrates the range of a woman whose conversation is sprinkled with easy references to ZZ Top, Nina Simone, No Doubt and Allen Ginsberg.
Rolling Stone - Karen Shoemer
Musically, it's as superb as anything she's ever done.
Spin Magazine - Robert Levine
It could be the closest Williams has come to that perfect, elusive sound she's always been after. (A)
Entertainment Weekly - Will Hermes
World Without Tears is... not just another great Lucinda Williams record. A perfectly imperfect set, it's looser, blowsier, and more what-the-hell? than anything she's done. (A)

Product Details

Release Date:
04/22/2003
Label:
Lost Highway
UPC:
0008817035512
catalogNumber:
170355

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