Album Review: Lucinda Williams - Blessed

by Bill DeVille

Lucinda Williams is one of the most respected artists of the last 30 years. She has always written songs straight from the heart, not afraid to ruffle a few feathers along the way--and probably even making a few ex-boyfriends blush. In recent years, Lucinda got married. Many of us were worried she would run out of subject matter. No worries here, it turns out!

Lucinda Williams' 10th album is called Blessed. It's certainly an optimistic title, but that doesn't mean that this is her wedded bliss album. She opens the album with guns blazing on "Buttercup," which is a kiss-off song to an old lover. Lucinda delivers lines like, "You'll never cop to the damage that's been done/You'll never stop cuz it's too much fun." That's what she does best.

Though her love life is stable, she's not lacking material for her lyrics. Death also comes up as a major theme on Blessed. The song "Copenhagen" might well be about her old manager who passed away a couple of years ago. The song sounds as it could be an entry straight out of her diary. It's a beautiful tune with its multi-layered guitars. Lucinda Williams also tries to make sense of her friend Vic Chesnutt's suicide on another album highlight, the majestic rocker "Seeing Black."

War is also on her mind. "Soldier's Song" is a somber number. It's a tale of what it might be like on the front lines, shooting at the enemy, while the family is back home going to baseball games. Elvis Costello adds some sweet electric guitar on this one. The album also boasts guests like Greg Leisz, who adds his tasty steel licks to much of the album.

Lucinda Williams isn't afraid to branch out on Blessed. She delivers an almost Billie Holliday-esque vocal on the smoldering, "Born To Be Loved," where she sings, "You weren't born to be mistreated/ You weren't born to be misguided/ You were born to be loved."

After listening to the album, I realize, we are the ones who are blessed. Lucinda William's latest is first rate! Hunker-down and listen!

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