West

West

by Lucinda Williams

CD

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Overview

Lucinda Williams certainly isn't the first singer-songwriter to wear her heart on her sleeve, but on West, she does so while simultaneously bringing the listener to a higher level of emotional consciousness. West ranks with the most nakedly personal work of her career, and it offers fans insight into the artistic process. Williams has stated in interviews that several of the album's songs were written in the wake of her mother's death -- an event that she deals with in surprisingly direct manner on the plangent-yet-steely "Fancy Funeral" (a passionate disavowal of just such an event), as well as on the wistful "Mama You Sweet." Williams's quavering vocal twang is practically unadorned on those tracks, and this only adds to its stealthy impact. Elsewhere, she's backed by a deceptively complex swath of strings, a backing no doubt conceptualized by producer Hal Willner and brought to fruition by violinist Jenny Scheinman. West isn't entirely given over to such pensive moments, however. In fact, it's peppered with songs that -- as David Bowie might say -- kick like a mule. "Come On," for instance, finds Williams cutting her way through sinewy guitar riffs to deliver a series of classic kiss-off lines in which she informs a dumped lover that he, shall we say, left her a bit less than satisfied in the bedroom. The nine-minute "Wrap Your Head Around That" is a little less direct, but its hypnotic blues drone is every bit as visceral, the sort of thing you wouldn't be surprised to hear emanating from a shack in the Mississippi hill country late on a starless night. For all the emotional upheaval in its grooves, however, West conveys a sense of redemption -- the notion that things will ultimately be all right for Williams, and for the listener as well.

Product Details

Release Date: 02/20/2007
Label: Imports
UPC: 0602517235632
catalogNumber: 946171
Rank: 61105

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Lucinda Williams   Primary Artist,Acoustic Guitar,Vocals
Jim Keltner   Percussion,Drums
Gia Ciambotti   Background Vocals
Bill Frisell   Acoustic Guitar,Electric Guitar
Tony Garnier   Electric Bass,Double Bass
Gary Louris   Background Vocals
Hal Willner   Turntables,Sampling
Doug Pettibone   Acoustic Guitar,Electric Guitar,Guitar (Baritone)
Rob Burger   Organ,Piano,Accordion,Hammond Organ,Electric Piano,Wurlitzer,Vox Organ,Prepared Piano,Hammond B3
Timothy Loo   Cello
Jenny Scheinman   Violin
Robert Brophy   Viola

Technical Credits

Lucinda Williams   Composer,Producer,Audio Production
Michael Dumas   Engineer
Hal Willner   Producer,Audio Production
Eric Liljestrand   Engineer
Annie Leibovitz   Cover Photo
Miller Williams   Author
Rob Burger   String Arrangements
Tom Overby   Executive Producer
Jenny Scheinman   String Arrangements
Jason Wormer   Engineer
Vanessa Parr   Engineer
Matt Brown   Engineer

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West 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
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