The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - MUSIC REVIEWS - JOE BREEN

LUCINDA WIL­LIAMS, Down Where the Spirit Meets the Bone High­way 20 Records

The south­ern rene­gade with an ear for haunt­ing melody, an eye for painful de­tail and a voice of bruised ex­pe­ri­ence de­liv­ers again with this 20-track help­ing of sharp-edged rock’n’roll, cut with bluesy phras­ing, dirty coun­try and a soul­ful twist. The ti­tle is drawn from Com­pas­sion, a poem by Wil­liams’s fa­ther, Miller Wil­liams, which she has set to the kind of for­lorn melody that adorns much of her work. This plea for un­der­stand­ing is then chal­lenged by what fol­lows, a snarling litany of pub­lic wrongs and pri­vate bad ex­pe­ri­ences, chron­i­cled in livid phrases and cut­ting licks, as on the bit­ter Cold Day in Hell. Bal­ance, how­ever, is struck by the likes of When I Look at the World, in which so­lace is found in nat­u­ral beauty. The les­son is clear: life might not be fair, but it’s all we’ve got. lucin­dawil­

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