And some people thought it was impossible for Lucinda Williams to release a new recording in less than four years. The stunning feat would be even more impressive if her new Essence album were actually good. It seems that Williams really needs to go through the process of trashing completed records to weed out the weak material, because the songwriting here isn't merely sub-par, it's her worst ever. Her move away from the first-person narratives that have been her strength into a touchy-feely impressionistic style is disastrous to the point of hilarity. You want funny, check the Dr. Seuss-inspired title track: "I am here for more/ I am waiting by your door... I am waiting in my car/I am waiting at this bar." Maybe her quality-control supervisor, Miller Williams, was on vacation for this one. Lucinda Williams is at Massey Hall Wednesday (June 13).