Lucinda Williams World Without Tears (Lost Highway/Universal) Rating: N Rating: N
Don't be misled by the vaguely optimistic album title. Lucinda Williams's World Without Tears is the darkest and dreariest recording she's ever conceived. From gloomy start to ghastly finish, it's a relentlessly bitter document of someone hurting. Slow, grinding tunes come littered with references to pain, confusion, dirtiness, anger, abuse, loneliness and suffering, and she offers no hope that the situation will ever improve. Perhaps most troubling, Williams appears to be losing her grip on her songcraft, settling for the easy, cheesy rhyme that actually makes a harsh listen even more difficult to stomach.