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 Horselike 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.
Performance CreditsLucinda Williams Primary Artist,Acoustic Guitar,Electric Guitar
Taras Prodaniuk Bass,Harmony,Standup Bass
Jim Christie Drums,Wurlitzer,Vox Organ
Doug Pettibone Mandolin,Electric Guitar,Harmony
Technical CreditsLucinda Williams Producer,Art Direction
Mark Howard Producer,Engineer
Taras Prodaniuk Arranger
Jim Christie Arranger
Jim Kemp Art Direction
Doug Pettibone Arranger
Gary Briggs Executive Producer
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
World Without Tears based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Wow, an actual singer-songwriter who is writing and singing great music....she calls to mind such pioneers as Ani DiFranco and Joan Armatrading. Lucinda Williams has an extraordinary gift for emotionally eloquent lyrics, accompanied by music and melody nothing short of amazing. I listened to this CD over and over, and with each trip through the speakers, the songs became more and more beautiful. This is a crossover triumph for Lucinda Williams.
For years my friend the music reporter has told me to listen to Lucinda Williams, daughter of the University of Arkansas professor, linguist, and poet, Miller Williams. He was right!
Hello, old friends. This one is hot off the press and it sizzles like a sausage in a frying pan! It's got a real honky tonk edge to it and I think you're gonna love it! Hold your loved one close and slow dance to the two-stepper entitled "Skidmarks in the Comode (This Morning)". You're gonna choke on that microwave burrito when you hear the rip-roaring track, "Longlegged Sally is a no-necked Prostitute". She's got an allstar cast of musicians working for her on this album, including the slight-of-hand drummer Mick O'McMickermick and the six-fingered guitarist Larry Rawlson. We've already heard the success of some of these tracks, one of them, entitled "Barfin' off the back porch with my old pal, Pinto" was featured on the TV show, "Alias", a couple weeks ago. I'll let you be the judge of whether or not to buy it, but I think that if you're a true Lucinda fan and you've enjoyed her past work, you'll be pleased with this new release.